How Unilever’s U-Studio is breaking down the barriers between marketers and agencies
U-Studio has grown from a small in-house agency to a platform used by almost three-quarters of Unilever’s brands as it looks to increase the speed and relevancy of its digital marketing, while not allowing costs to spiral.
Unilever’s in-house content agency U-Studio has, in three years, gone from a small operation working in a few select markets to the FMCG giant’s biggest digital agency.
It was established to work on informational content such as how-to videos, articles, infographics and product information across social media and digital. The idea was to increase speed and reduce agency fees, with Unilever cutting the number of external agencies it worked with as it expanded U-Studio.
Giles Morrison, global vice president of brand communications and global brand, explains: “[At] U-Studio, there are several thousand projects running at one moment in time. What it is built to do is be a quick, cost effective digital advertising and content agency, and a lot of that we’re trying to achieve in real-time.”
U-Studio operates a hybrid model, with the majority of its staff hired from in-house agency experts Oliver. Morrison believes that gives Unilever the “best of both worlds”.
He explains: “What we’ve done is in-source yet outsource, so we get people into our buildings who are from creative agency land sitting next to our marketers and [ensuring they get] proximity, speed and intimacy.”
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