Droga 5 Gets Spot on Unilever's Roster

Boutique Named Digital AOR for Packaged-Goods Giant's Suave Brand

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- New York-based creative boutique Droga 5 has made its way onto the roster of another major ad spender, Unilever.

Suave shampoo
Suave shampoo
The packaged-goods giant shifted digital-agency-of-record duties on its Suave brand from OgilvyOne to Droga 5 after a pitch. Droga 5 will work with Unilever's in-house team to create a digital campaign for Suave shampoo that will debut in late 2009 or early 2010.

"Droga 5 brings formidable thinking, creative firepower and digital-marketing excellence to the table, and we look forward to jointly pushing this great brand into the future," Unilever's U.S. hair-care marketing director, David Rubin, said in a statement.

Being tapped by Unilever is a major score for the highly awarded independent. Since its inception in 2006, the agency has received most of its recognition for experiments such as the defunct online-content venture Honeyshed and cause-marketing efforts such as the Tap Project, The Great Schlep, and Million project.

In the past year, however, Droga5 has managed to capture the attention of big marketers, with equally big ad budgets, such as Puma and Activision-Blizzard.

It's noteworthy, too, that the shop managed to beat out some digital heavy-hitters in the Suave pitch, which in addition to incumbent OgilvyOne included AKQA and Razorfish, according to people familiar with the situation.

Agencies either referred calls back to Unilever or could not be immediately reached.

Unilever devotes between $20 million and $25 million in domestic measured media a year to its family of Suave products, according to TNS Media Intelligence. In recent times, it has put more marketing investment behind its Suave Professional line. Last year, Unilever dropped measured media spending behind brand Suave to $5 million from $13.3 million in 2007, but doubled spending for the Suave Professional brand to $14 million from $7 million in 2007.

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