Unilever calls on content creators & distributors to eradicate stereotypes
Cannes, France – Unilever is calling on content creators and distributors to act now to eliminate outdated stereotypes. The move marks the latest step in the company’s industry-leading Unstereotype initiative, which launched two years ago with the aim of eliminating harmful and diminishing portrayals of people across advertising.
As part of its Unstereotype commitment Unilever is expanding the initiative across all forms of content and branded entertainment, and today announces a three-year multi-million-dollar deal with Rexona, the world’s biggest deodorant brand, and Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment. Rexona (also known as Sure, Degree and Shield depending on the country) will partner with NOW UNITED, the first ever global pop group comprised of 14 artists from 14 countries including Brazil, China, Germany, India, Philippines, Senegal, US and UK. Together, they will co-create content across multiple channels that unites different cultures through the joy of dance and music. The campaign will reach millions of young people with positive, progressive messages around equality and tolerance and inspire young people that they can proudly be who they are, wherever they are.
Aline Santos, Unilever Executive Vice President Global Marketing and Head of Diversity and Inclusion, says “Through our ongoing advertising assessment against Unstereotype criteria we already know that progressive advertising creates 25 percent more branded impact and new data now tells us that progressive ads are also 16 percent more relevant, 21 percent more credible and can drive purchase intent by 18 percent. The economic case is just as tangible as the social case for change, which is why we are expanding the Unstereotype initiative to drive unstereotypical content at scale through new partnerships and mainstream content.”
Simon Fuller comments: “As one of the most socially conscious and largest consumer goods companies today, Unilever brands like Rexona continue to cut through the clutter when it comes to making bold statements with real actions. With Now United I also want to embrace this pioneering spirit, defining new ways to interact with entertainment, celebrating diversity and inclusion with a powerful message of unity and positivity. Through the passionate engagement of music and dance, with Rexona as our partner, we will share all of this positive energy and excitement with our audience on a global scale.”
In another previously announced collaboration, Dove – the world’s largest provider of self-esteem education – revealed a multi-year deal with Cartoon Network’s hit television show Steven Universe. This partnership sees Dove collaborate with the show’s creative lead to create original programming using the characters of Steven Universe to educate and build body confidence amongst the next generation (link to first episode here), helping to expand Dove’s reach to provide 40 million young people with self-esteem education by 2020.
“It has always been important to us that our content resonates with our audience and empowers them,” says Christina Miller, president Cartoon Network. “This partnership is unprecedented in its scale, reach and ambition to make a difference in kids’ lives around the world.”
Today, minorities remain underrepresented in film leads (13.9%) and female directors are widely overlooked (6.9%), despite audiences making it clear they prefer diverse film and television content . Unilever believes progressive collaborations between brands and content creators will therefore be key to meeting audience’s expectations and tackling harmful stereotypes around gender, race, sexuality and more.
Aline Santos adds: “As marketers, we have talked for decades about reaching as many people as possible; it’s time we place equal emphasis on representing as many people as possible. That means prioritising greater authenticity in our characters and storylines, and doing more to accurately capture the richness and diversity of the world we live in. From films and TV programmes, to web series and podcasts, we have to work with the entertainment industry to co-create content we’re proud to support with our media investment.”
100 Victoria Embankment
London EC4Y 0DY
+44 (0) 7392131561
+44 (0) 7792243315
Where relevant, these actions are subject to the appropriate consultations and approvals.
This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as 'will', 'aim', 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends', 'looks', 'believes', 'vision', or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Unilever Group (the 'Group'). They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance.
Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Among other risks and uncertainties, the material or principal factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are: Unilever's global brands not meeting consumer preferences; Unilever's ability to innovate and remain competitive; Unilever's investment choices in its portfolio management; inability to find sustainable solutions to support long-term growth; the effect of climate change on Unilever's business; customer relationships; the recruitment and retention of talented employees; disruptions in our supply chain; the cost of raw materials and commodities; the production of safe and high quality products; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; successful execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic and political risks and natural disasters; financial risks; failure to meet high and ethical standards; and managing regulatory, tax and legal matters. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the Annual Report on Form 20-F 2017 and the Unilever Annual Report and Accounts 2017.