BBD Perfect Storm is launching a new division focused on “marketing to men” and has hired a senior Unilever executive to head up the unit.
Fernando Desouches, senior global brand director for Lynx/Axe, will lead the division, dubbed New Macho, which aims to redefine masculinity.
BBD Perfect Storm chief executive Jason Foo explained the rationale behind the launch: “The current mainstream masculinity narrative – in which men are told to ‘man up’ and ‘be tough’ – means it can be difficult for men to express their feelings. This is one of the major reasons why the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK is suicide.
“We think it is fundamentally important to tackle this for many social reasons and we believe that there is a significant commercial opportunity in taking brands down this path.”
Desouches has been at Unilever since 1999, and spent nine years working in Argentina. He relocated to London in 2008 to become senior regional brand development manager for Lynx in the UK, The brand is called Axe in most other markets.
He was promoted to European regional development director for Dove, Dove Men and local deodorant brands in 2011. Descouches has been in his current role since 2013.
Desouches said: “Creating New Macho is about both a social responsibility and commercial opportunity. Through extensive experience in marketing to men, we have identified that there are typically differences in how they react and engage with communications and yet the approach tends to be homogenous. There’s a huge opportunity for brands to maintain their relevance by not just shifting their narrative but also execution of their positioning.”
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