Unilever Takes Lead in Co-Creation

Consumer products giant Unilever has begun to use consumers as a source for insights and ideas for two of its top brands, Closeup and Pond's. Together with Carrotmob Unilever co-creates sustainability campaigns. Read further how Unilever leverages the power of co-creation.

Unilever – Pond

Neil Trinidad, global marketing manager for Pond’s, said that the company decided to collaborate with Eyeka after getting a little weary of showcasing women as passive recepients of love. Together with co-creation company Eyeka, the Pond’s team asked consumers to create short videos of about 30 to 60 seconds of their own love stories either through film or animation.

Trinidad said:

“Love and romance have always played a key role in Pond’s brand story, but while they were engaging, today’s modern woman is no longer a damsel in distress. She can initiate love. These videos gave us access to places where the brand wasn’t even present.”

Unilever – Closeup

For Unilever’s brand Closeup, the objective of co-creating campaigns with consumers was to break category convention and make oral care equivalent to personal care, and also establish its functional benefits of white teeth and fresh breath. The team were so impressed by the videos and ideas from consumers that they decided to use it across traditional media, Closeup’s official website, Facebook and mobile.

Ishita Sharma, Closeup’s global brand manager said:

“We really wanted to move away from traditional storytelling to story building. It’s an explosion of creativity, where earlier we had three or five ideas sent for research, today we have hundreds.”

Unilever and Carrotmob

Carrotmob, an advocacy group dedicated to organizing consumer spending to influence businesses’ impacts on social and environmental issues, announced a partnership to explore and develop innovative participatory campaigns with Unilever. Unilever is a global leader in fast-moving consumer products with over 400 brands, sales of approximately 46.5 billion euros in fiscal year 2011, and a leader in sustainability amongst their class of companies.

The partnership represents a new step forward in cause-based marketing, allowing for the co-creation of sustainability campaigns. Carrotmob will work with Unilever to develop campaigns that deepen consumer engagement, generate brand loyalty based on values, and redefine global sustainability.

Brent Schulkin, founder of Carrotmob said:

“Unilever, the third largest consumer packaged goods company in the world, has taken notice of this growing movement. The Carrotmob model which allows consumers to vote with their money has been successful with small businesses for years. Now with a global company like Unilever, we have the opportunity to make a large-scale impact.”

Lou Paik, the West Division Shopper Marketing Manager for Unilever said:

“At Unilever, many of us practice this mantra ‘small actions make a big difference,’ and that is exactly what Carrotmob consumers are about. Supporting products and businesses that do the right thing creates a climate for change. We are exploring opportunities like this with Carrotmob to bring retail marketing programs to our customers that no one has seen before.”

Last year we reported about Unilever’s engagement project on Facebook to gain consumer insights. Unilever is testing and learning more and more how the power of collaboration can spur their business in a win-win manner.

By Gianluigi Cuccureddu

About the author:

Gianluigi CuccuredduGianluigi Cuccureddu, contributing editor, is an experienced writer specializing in innovation, connected business and marketing. He is co-founder of Damarque, an EMEA professional services firm that takes a strategic view and hands-on approach across the entire value chain to help organizations integrate social technologies. To help them drive employee productivity, customer loyalty and better innovation. Damarque acts as trusted advisor to organizations to support and guide them through this transition phase and offers a unique approach and combination of competences.