Unilever CMO: We want to create content that’s part of people’s lives

Unilever announced a major partnership with Vice at Cannes today (23 June) that will see the FMCG giant co-create content for the media company’s new female-focussed Broadly channel.

Unilever personal care brands Dove, Sure, Vaseline and Tresemme will feature across the channel in sponsorship idents and as co-creators of content.

Speaking to reporters about the launch today, Unilever CMO Keith Weed eulogised about Vice’s ability to be part of the conversations its viewers are having, something he is keen to emulate at the FMCG giant.

“This is exciting, what’s happening, in terms of the challenges around content and the question of how do brands create content that is relevant. [Vice has had] tremendous success. No one has done it quite like Vice.”

He adds: “We have a portal to people’s lives. We have everyday products that people use every day. Vice is not something people go to they’re part of it. That’s something we want with brands such as Dove and Tresemme. We want to be part of people’s lives; we want to be in there.”

In order to be “in there”, Unilever is adopting a test and learn approach, itself a marked break from the past. “We’re going to learn by doing. In the past it would take 24 weeks and half a million to create a 30 -second film. Now, we’re real time testing – what works we build on what doesn’t disappears.”

The need to create compelling content is part of a wider shift in marketing, from the “interruption” method of the 80s and 90s to marketing “that recognises the everyday role brands play in people’s lives but rewards them with interesting content”.

“It was first about marketing to people, and then marketing with people and now marketing for people. To make marketing great again give people something that they want to spend time with – reward them.”

Elsewhere at Cannes, WPP, DailyMail and Snapchat announced the formation of Truffle Pig, an equal stake content marketing company that the trio claim will “combine the best of agency, newsroom and social media”. No brands are yet signed up, it was claimed. In a statement Sorrell says the venture will aim to cut through the slew of content produced by brands.

“In a digital world overflowing with content, consumers crave quality”, he says, adding the company will look to “satisfy people’s attitudes for great content.”

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