Axe To Grind On TNN

Unilever throws laddie bash

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%%STORYIMAGE_LEFT%% What started out as a cool, entertainment-based event marketing initiative for the Unilever Axe brand has been extended into a TNN prime-time TV special.

Tentatively entitled the "Axe House Party," the program will be aired on the Viacom network. According to executives close to the situation, the show consists of edited footage from a party on March 8 in Miami that was studded with stars from TV and music like rapper Nelly, who performed. The party was sponsored by the Anglo-Dutch marketer for its recently launched male fragrance. %%PULLQUOTE_RIGHT%%

The special, geared towards a young adult male audience, will air on Sunday, April 13 at 10 p.m.

The event, which was originally conceived by Omnicom's GMR Marketing in Chicago, was leveraged into a TV property when William Morris Consulting was brought into the discussions.

According to execs requesting anonymity, the Beverly Hills-based tenpercentery was instrumental in hiring Don Mischer Productions to produce the show and convincing TNN to take it. The negotiations were sealed when TNN agreed to Unilever's stipulation that the show air after 8:00 p.m. TNN's current positioning refers to itself as the "first entertainment network for men."

Both Unilever and TNN spokespeople declined comment on the initiative.

William Morris execs also declined comment while a GMR exec referred calls to the marketer.

Last year Unilever put up $90 million for the North American launch of Axe men's fragrance which included event marketing, promotions, sponsorship, and a multi-pronged ad campaign—TV, print, and cinema—from Bartle Bogle Hegarty, New York.

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