A key aspect of Unilever's model is "superdistribution", moving beyond corporate websites to place material in locations where targeted netizens will visit.
"Our real focus is to go where consumers are," said Master. "Superdistribution is taking a great piece of content and syndicating it. You can see our video on the Yahoo home page and never leave that site." Unilever is a European global giant that markets some 400 brands in 14 different categories to consumers. Its brands include Axe, Dove, Pond’s, and Vaseline in the personal care market; Comfort, Sunlight, and Surf in the home care market; and Bertoli, Hellman’s, Knorr, and Lipton in the foods market. Unilever is also a company that has an enlightened view of the use of media for advertising – and it’s worth paying attention to what they have to say. In the current issue of Technology Review, Unilever’s North American Media Director, Rob Master, offers some insight into Unilever’s digital media strategy. Master says “consumers are going through a radical transformation” in the way they utilize media and the manner in which they interact with advertising and brands. He says consumers don’t think about which medium they’re using, they just “view the world in a certain way.” As a result, Unilever believes that the quality of the content makes all the difference to the consumer. The Unilever strategy, says Master, is “about providing an enriching experience with our content, not about getting as many people as possible to sign up so we can give away coupons.” The company is more interested in having a smaller number of “engaged and passionate” fans on Facebook rather than just getting a lot of fans to sign up. Master says Unilever doesn’t produce videos with the intent of going viral; rather, “consumers decide what’s viral,” says Master. The company focuses on compelling content and hopes the consumer thinks it’s good enough to pass along. Unilever uses what Master calls a “superdistribution” strategy –...
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