Thursday, 26 September 2013

Unilever targets Asian mobile users (Warc)

MUMBAI: Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant, has announced plans for a new mobile marketing initiative aimed at shoring up its sales position in Asia, with a particular focus on India, China and Indonesia.

The company has teamed up with Brandtone, the Dublin-based mobile specialists, to support its expansion into these markets – plus the US – while also building on their existing relationship in other key emerging markets, such as Brazil, Russia and Turkey.

The company expects to use Brandtone's technology to contact consumers who have agreed to receive offers and rewards in exchange for their profile information, the Wall Street Journal reported, and low-end mobile phone users will be the main target of this initiative.

Keith Weed, Unilever's chief marketing officer, said the communications were "something that can be done through a text," and therefore did not require customers to have a smartphone.

With over half of Unilever's turnover already coming from emerging markets, Weed added: "Mobile provides a direct means of engagement with almost every consumer in those countries, and it is therefore absolutely critical for our brands' growth."

He explained that people are willing to share information in order to get more relevant advertising and offers, which provided opportunities as long as the company approached them with respect, maintained trust and ensured a "two-way dialogue."

"By building relationships with our consumers and adding something of value to them we can increase both purchase and brand loyalty," Weed added.

There are more than 2bn mobile phone users in India and China. The new campaign suggests that Unilever believes this initiative is a useful way of reaching consumers who are not always accessible via TV ads.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal, The Drum; additional content by Warc staff

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Unilever's Keith Weed puts mobile at heart of emerging markets strategy (Marketing, Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith)

Unilever's chief marketing officer Keith Weed has placed mobile marketing at the heart of the company's strategy for engaging with consumers in emerging markets.

Weed announced a strategic partnership with mobile marketing company Brandtone last night (24 September), which will see both companies expand their reach across 10 different markets, including India, China and Indonesia.

Over half of Unilever’s turnover comes from emerging markets, Weed said, which is expected to grow to around 75% over the coming years.

Read the full article here.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Unilever CMO defends controversial Marmite, Lynx and Pot Noodle ads (Marketing Week, Lara O'Reilly)

DMEXCO: Unilever’s chief marketing and communications officer Keith Weed has defended his company’s recent run of ads that have drawn complaints from viewers, saying while the brands are genuinely sorry for any offense caused, “we won’t please all people all the time”.

Recent controversial campaigns include a Pot Noodle ad the advertising regulator classed “crass and degrading” , Lynx campaigns that have been accused of “promoting racial stereotypes” and “objectifying women” and a Marmite TV campaign that racked up 504 complaints.
Speaking to Marketing Week at the Dmexco conference in Cologne, Weed disagreed the company produces “controversial” ads.
He said: “We are a very broad base consumer goods business, hence we advertise to lots of people and within that, we won’t please all people all the time.''

“Having said that, if we ever do cause any offense we take that seriously and are genuinely sorry.”
He pointed out in the “End Marmite Neglect” example - which was cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority in spite of the high complaint numbers - many people “loved” the ad because it fitted with its “You either love it or hate it” tagline and that it did not draw any complaints from charities like the RSPCA.

On Lynx, which has often had ads banned by the regulator over the years, Weed said the company has to make stand-out campaigns for its target audience to achieve cut through.

He added: “Lynx is about giving confidence to young guys in a very challenging part of their lives, that isn’t a bad thing. How do you engage? If you did it in a boring way, they wouldn’t notice
“And who buys Lynx? Mum buys Lynx…I guarantee Mum would not buy Lynx if she was embarrassed to see it in her in shopping trolley.”

“[The marketing is] slightly tongue in cheek and slightly hyberbole. We don’t intend to offend people but [some of these campaigns] are appropriate for our brands, target audience and bring a level of enjoyment, a smile and humour to people’s lives”.

Weed was speaking to Marketing Week shortly after he gave his keynote at the conference. Entitled “Yours Digitally”, his presentation outlined the three pillars behind Unilever’s “crafting brands for life” strategy: putting people first, building brand love and “unlocking the magic”.

He cited brand case studies including Dove’s “Real Beauty” ad, which achieved 3.8 billion global impressions, becoming the most watched online ad in history, Cornetto’s “Cupidity” campaign and the current Lynx’s Apollo Space Academy activity.

Weed told Marketing Week such stand-out marketing and Unilever’s point of difference, its “Sustainable Living Plan”, have seen Unilever become the second most searched-for brand for marketing careers behind Google on LinkedIn.

“It’s not Facebook, it’s not Microsoft, it’s Unilever. I think it’s because we’re about a different business model, serving customers in a different and sustainable way,” he added.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Dmexco 2013: Unilever’s Keith Weed Calls For Magic And Logic From Digital Marketing (, Michael Nutley)

Marketing is a mixture of magic and logic, and digital marketing can deliver both.

That was the key message in the opening keynote of the 2013 Dmexco show, given by Unilever CMCO Keith Weed.

“I don’t have a particular love for digital,” Weed said, “but I love what it can do.”

He went on to say that his ambition was to have people know and love Unilever for what they do in digital and mobile the way they currently do in TV.

He outlined how Unilever’s strategy, “Crafting brands for life” is applied online across its three pillars; Putting People First, Building Brand Love and Unlocking The Magic.

“Putting people first is about how people live and how we engage with them. For example, Dove stands for real beauty and real care. Digital allowed us to create a movement. Dove Sketches is the fourth most shared ad ever. That’s the magic; imagine trying to engage that many people on TV or in print. The logic is that it has had 170m views and is the most watched online ad of all time.

“Building brand love - you need a great product for people to buy, but you also need a great idea for them to buy into. Lifebuoy is a disinfectant soap and it’s a big brand in Africa and Asia. We’ve taught 30m people to wash their hands because one of the best things you can do to improve health is washing your hands properly.”

Weed gave two examples of unlocking the magic. The first was the Cupidity campaign for ice cream brand Cornetto, which featured four short films about teenage love. The second was the Axe Apollo Space Academy campaign, which Weed described as bringing magic and logic together. The campaign will end with 22 young men being sent up into space.

“A campaign like this is only possible if you can achieve reach and leverage the huge investment,” he said.