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Unilever launches new crowdsourcing initiative


With the launch of its new Foundry IDEAS platform, Unilever is aiming at a tenfold increase in its use of crowdsourcing as an idea-generation mechanism by 2020.

Unilever sign in Mexico

Engaging with anyone who has a novel idea

An extension of the Unilever Foundry – the global platform that enables Unilever to innovate through collaboration – IDEAS is a central hub for all crowdsourcing briefs that will help innovators, creatives and designers co-create with us. We have been crowdsourcing for many years through various partners but now, by linking it to our innovation platform, we can use it as a means to drive sustainable growth and embed it into our innovation and creative processes.

Unilever’s Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, Marc Mathieu, says: “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 anyone who has a novel idea. Although crowdsourcing is not a new concept to Unilever, our ambition is that by 2020 we will leverage crowdsourced ideas ten times more than we do today.”

Highly effective, sharable content

In a recent crowdsourcing project, Cornetto collaborated with Mofilm across 13 markets to develop ‘Cupidity’, a series of short films based on teenage love stories. Each film was created by a native up-and-coming film-maker and featured local celebrities to increase engagement. The result was highly effective, sharable content with the 11 films racking up over 500 million views and the initiative winning a Silver Lion at the Cannes Film Festival.

Here’s how you can get involved

As part of the Foundry IDEAS launch, we are inviting people to submit ideas and are also looking for start-ups with innovative tools that can help us collaborate. We have three new briefs worth US$150,000 (€134,000) in funding for pilot programmes. The first seeks ideas for incentivising consumer advocates to create content for their brands, the second is looking to automate how brands discover and harvest quality user-generated content, and the third is about identifying, engaging and leveraging online influencers.

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