Unilever announces crowdsourcing success and a new website

Unilever: crowdsourced Peperami ad
Unilever: crowdsourced Peperami ad

Unilever, the world's second-largest advertiser, is changing the way it markets itself to incorporate more crowdsourcing and co-creation opportunities and to be less "corporate", according to chief marketer Keith Weed.

Speaking at the Guardian Advertising Summit today, Weed, who earlier this year became the first man to be responsible for all marketing, communications and sustainability strategies at the multinational conglomerate, indicated more change was on its way.

Among the things set to get an overhaul is Unilever’s flagship site itself, Unilever.com.

Weed said the company would respond to consumers’ wishes for the company to be less corporate and to speak to them in their own language.

He said: "I don’t think that a lot of company sites have realised that their biggest users now are consumers. And we’re guilty as well. Go on to Unilever.com, we’re still very corporate. That will change.

"We’re still very corporate in our face to the outside world, because it is positioned to a financial analyst or a journalist.

"The truth of the matter is over 60% of the people that go to Unilever.com now are consumers and future employees, and we should engage them in that way. So more, certainly on my side, on that."

Talking about future plans for the British-Dutch multinational corporation that owns many of the world's consumer brands in foods, drink, cleaning agents and personal care products, Weed said it was centred around being more "joined-up", both internally and externally.

"It wasn’t so long ago that [Unilever] communications would have been over here, with marketing over there," he said.

"Unilever.com would have been communications and the Unilever corporate brand run by marketing. In a more transparent digital world it has to be joined-up… a more cohesive front."

Weed has already committed to doubling the company’s digital marketing budget during his first year, justified by his simple motto: "We fish where the fishes are".

Today he added: "We will be taking a much more proactive stance in the area of YouTube, Facebook, etc, even at a Unilever corporate level."

One initiative that is sure to shape Unilever’s digital strategy has been the well-publicised partnership with film competition board Mofilm, announced in April.

The crowdsourcing drive to generate short commercial films for 13 Unilever brands was today reported to have garnered 10,000 downloaded briefs by up-and-coming filmmaking talent. This activity has been in addition to crowdsourcing for Peperami and for the successful launch of Dove Men + Care in the US.

Weed hinted that more "interactive" Unilever ads would launch in the UK shortly.

Meanwhile, smartphones were identified as "the next step up, the next big transformation" for marketers. He added: "One factoid I’ll share with you because I love this one, is that there are more mobile phones now than toilets in India." 

Weed concluded: "We hear a lot about climate change right now and I would argue that certainly from my perspective, from a brand perspective, the climate has very much changed and the revolution we’re in the middle of is a very exciting time for marketing, and there’s a huge amount of opportunity."

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer