Unilever launches crowdsourcing initiative to drive sustainable growth ambition

London - Unilever today announces a commitment to increase its use of crowdsourcing, with the launch of its Unilever Foundry IDEAS. The new platform will become a hub to centrally organise all crowdsourcing briefs, and allow the business to increase its use as an idea-generation mechanism tenfold by 2020.

An extension of Unilever Foundry, the global platform that enables Unilever to innovate through collaboration, Unilever Foundry IDEAS is a platform for innovators, creatives and designers to co-create with Unilever. While Unilever has been undertaking crowdsourcing for many years through various partners, linking it to its innovation platform will allow the business to bring focus on crowdsourcing as a platform to drive sustainable growth and embed it into its innovation and creative processes.

Unilever’s Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, Marc Mathieu, said, "In 2009, we announced an ambition to double our business by 2020 whilst reducing our environmental impact. Enabling our Sustainable Growth ambition requires that we invite and harness capabilities and ideas from everywhere.

“Through Unilever Foundry IDEAS, we’re creating a platform that allows us to engage with innovators, creatives, designers and anyone with a novel idea. Although crowdsourcing is not a new concept to Unilever, our ambition is that by 2020 Unilever will leverage crowdsourced ideas ten-times more than we do today”.

In a recent crowdsourcing project, Unilever brand Cornetto collaborated with Mofilm – a global platform that connects filmmakers with brands to crowdsource creative content. The result was Cornetto ‘Cupidity’; a series of short films based on teenage love stories, designed to connect with young people in the age of social media.

Each film was created by a native up-and-coming filmmaker and featured locally-relevant celebrities to drive engagement, resulting in highly effective, sharable content. Cornetto’s ‘Cupidity’ project was implemented across 13 markets globally, creating 11 short films that have racked up over 500 million views. The initiative won a Silver Lion at Cannes Film Festival 2014.

As part of this launch, Unilever is not just inviting people to submit ideas, but they’re also looking to startups to bring innovative tools who can help the company collaborate with the Crowd. Through their PILOT programme, Unilever Foundry has announced two opportunities to engage in a US$50,000 pilot with the company. One seeks ideas for incentivising consumer advocates to create content for their brands, while the second is looking for startups that can automate how brands discover and harvest quality UGC.

Unilever Foundry enables innovative startups that are ready to scale up to partner with Unilever and its 400 brands in over 190 countries. Its unique Pitch-Pilot-Partner approach favours ‘launch and learn’ over ‘plan and perfect’, enabling the company to dramatically cut the time it takes to get a new initiative to market. It also offers startups the opportunity to access mentoring from marketing professionals, and tap into funding opportunities through Unilever Ventures.

-ENDS-

About The Unilever Foundry

The Unilever Foundry (http://foundry.unilever.com/) provides a single entry-point for innovative startups seeking to partner with Unilever, enabling the company’s global brands to experiment with and pilot new technologies more efficiently, effectively and speedily. It provides startups and entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop and work on global projects, access mentoring from marketing professionals, and tap into funding through Unilever Ventures. Startups are invited to apply to be part of the Unilever Foundry through visiting http://foundry.unilever.com/projects.

More details on Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan can be found here: http://www.unilever.com/sustainable-living-2014.

The Foundry (Unilever.com/foundry) works closely with Unilever Ventures, the Venture capital arm of Unilever. Unilever Ventures invests in early stage companies that could become strategically relevant to Unilever and can benefit from access to Unilever’s assets and capabilities. One of the key areas of investment for Unilever Ventures is Digital Marketing, encompassing marketing services business with a focus on mobile marketing, digital media and video, social media, content creation, eCommerce, shopper marketing and big data. Recent examples include Yummly and Brandtone.

Sebastian Tully-Middleton - Kaper

020 3301 2261
seb@kaper.uk.com

Lisa Shetabi - Kaper

020 3301 2172
lisa@kaper.uk.com

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