Super Bowl

Unilever's Axe Returns to Super Bowl

Brand Sending Fans to Space Likes That Game Is Close to Home in Jersey

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Axe, the brand that plans to send fans to space as part of last year's Super Bowl ad effort, has its sights set closer to home in New Jersey this year as it plans to return with a 30-second spot from Publicis Groupe's BBH, London.

An astronaut won out over a bodyguard in attracting a woman in last year's Axe Super Bowl ad
An astronaut won out over a bodyguard in attracting a woman in last year's Axe Super Bowl ad

"With the Big Game in our backyard, we want to be there," said Matthew McCarthy, senior marketing director of Axe and men's grooming for Unilever, which has its U.S. headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., not far from MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands.

Unilever isn't talking about its creative approach for Super Bowl XLVIII, but last year the company used its ad to launch the Apollo product line and a global contest in concert with sibling brand Lynx to send 25 fans into space, or at least the very edge of space, aboard private commercial carrier Space Exploration Corp. The contest drew more than a million male and female entrants, according to Unilever.

A group of 100 finalists came to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida last week to compete for the final 23 slots aboard the Xcor Aerospace Lynx spacecraft when it begins operations, which is expected sometime in 2015. Two Americans, Franklin Jackson and Patrick Carney, are among the winners globally.

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