NEW YORK —
In one ad, released last week, spokeswoman Danica Patrick, a racecar driver, wears a muscle suit as she runs down the street with a growing crowd of other muscular people. The crowd heads for a spray tanning business owned by a woman, who says: “It’s go time.”
Sex doesn’t sell? Unilever also is changing its approach. The company’s Axe body spray typically plays up sex.
This year, to introduce its “Peace” fragrance, Axe’s ad depicts several seemingly militaristic scenes in different countries that end up with couples embracing. The ad says: “Make Love Not War.”
Matthew McCarthy, Axe senior director of brand development, said that even though the ad is more sophisticated than previous efforts, “we’re doing something that surprises people.”
Playing the celebrity game: The ad for Wonderful Pistachios also might surprise watchers. Experts say when the nut brand debuted at last year’s Super Bowl, it made a typical rookie mistake: Jumping on a fad.
The ad featured Psy, a one-hit wonder from Korea whose single “Gangnam Style” and an accompanying dance were smash hits at the time.
This year, the company enlisted comedian Stephen Colbert.
“We wanted to raise it to a new level with a celebrity who really had a connection with folks out there,” said Marc Seguin vice president of marketing for Paramount Farms, the unit of Roll that makes the nuts.