Lever Brothers is breaking with tradition by pumping millions of pounds
into men’s magazines in a pounds 10 million relaunch of its flagship
soap powder, Persil.
The multimedia campaign, through J. Walter Thompson, will launch on 1
June. For the first time, the Persil ads will not refer to ‘housewives’
and will instead address individual groups of users, such as young men,
through the print medium.
The press ads will appear in magazines such as GQ and Loaded and feature
three men sharing a flat, echoing the BBC TV comedy series, Men Behaving
At the same time, Unilever is doubling its adspend with two of the UK’s
leading publishing houses over the next three years.
The company is committing pounds 40 million to the National Magazine
Company and IPC through its media buying agency, Initiative Media.
It is thought to be the first time that an advertiser has guaranteed a
certain level of expenditure with publishing houses covering such a long
period of time.
The aim is to develop a more intimate relationship with magazines
belonging to these publishers, which produce many of the UK’s best-
selling titles, such as Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan.
Initiative’s planning director, Nick Daly, said that the deal was
designed ‘to create a platform for us to look at magazines in a new and
He added: ‘We want to move beyond just filling white space with our ads,
and develop strategic relationships with the magazines.’