Unilever engages directly with consumers through Facebook

Unilever has launched a dedicated corporate-branded Facebook page to engage directly with consumers of its key brands and get instant feedback on initiatives such as its new Surf TV ad.

Unilever: adding a dedicated corporate-branded page to its Facebook account
Unilever: adding a dedicated corporate-branded page to its Facebook account

The Unilever VIP programme, set up for 11 Unilever brands including Walls, PG Tips, Persil and Surf, invites consumers to offer personal opinions on new brand initiatives. Consumers will receive previews of advertising, branding, packaging and promotions.

Consumers become VIP members by signing up to the dedicated page. Participants will be rewarded through exclusive access to new products, money-off vouchers and invitations to Unilever VIP events.

Unilever has revealed that the first initiatives consumers will be involved in include seeing a "sneak preview" of Carte D’Or’s new packaging, writing reviews for the Domestos new Toilet System range, and giving feedback on the new Surf TV ad.

Rachel Bristow, media director at Unilever UK, told Marketing: "We have been working on this initiative for several months. The UK is a pilot country and we wanted to build something scalable, interesting and rewarding for consumers."

Bristow said that Unilever is about to go into a phase of driving awareness around the initiative, through emails to its consumer database and adverts on Facebook. She said: "Already 6,000 people have liked the page and just under 90% of those consumers have gone on to be members."

"It is difficult to run outbound campaigns that allow consumers to interact with in their own time and in their own way. This is about getting consumer feedback and making them feel important in our decision making."

This month, Unilever posted a 4.1% year-on-year increase in first-half revenues to €22.8bn (£19.9bn), while revealing it reduced its first half marketing spend by 1.5%.

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