Unilever’s commitment to bring an end to stereotypes in its adverts will pay dividends for its brands, according to a report published by The Drum.
Announced at Cannes Lions this year, the Anglo-Dutch FMCG giant’s #unstereotype campaign seeks to eliminate stereotypical portrayals of women – and men – in advertising. And, although it’s too early to measure the effect the campaign is having on growth, if the Sustainable Living Programme is anything to go by, it will resonate with consumers and in turn convert into more sales. As Aline Santos, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing for Unilever told The Drum. “Consumers are going to connect with our brands in a much stronger way. All the brands that have started [the Sustainable living programme] are growing 30 per cent faster than many of the other brands in our company. All the brands with strong purposes run 30 percent ahead of the others, so it is a huge number and a significant difference. The way we are portraying advertising today and how we are using unstereotype is already paying off.”
In order to push forward with this initiative, Unilever is having to reinvent the wheel in the advertising world, where stereotypes are often employed in order to get a message across in the short amount of time. However, as Santos revealed to The Drum, unconscious bias is also proving a problem. “Unconscious bias is the biggest challenge that we have. When our agencies are thinking about our script, even though they have the theory and they buy in to it, sure enough the unconscious bias comes along, and out of the blue here you are with a script that is still regressive.”