Unilever Takes Corporate Branding to TV for First Time

Ogilvy Ads Back Drive to Fight Child Hunger With Feeding America

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What do Martin Luther King, Gandhi, young hunger fighters and Unilever have in common? You're about to find out in the company's first corporate-branding TV campaign, breaking in the U.S. Nov. 17.

The 30- and 60-second spots from WPP's Ogilvy & Mather and David show speeches by Martin Luther King, Gandhi and youths working to support hunger relief. They're part of Unilever's Project Sunlight sustainability program, and aim to fight child hunger in concert with Feeding America. Unilever says it has donated more than 30 million meals over the past five years via the group's food pantries, and also uses its ProjectSunlight.Us site to urge others to help.

Of course, it's also about promoting Unilever, specifically raising consumers' awareness about the company, its sustainability efforts and that it's behind such brands as Dove, Suave, Lipton, Hellman's and Knorr, whose logos are featured along with the corporate parent in the U.S. ads.

Unilever will evaluate the ads based on how well they advance its corporate reputation as well as how much they do to advance hunger relief, said Marc Mathieu, Unilever's senior VP-marketing.

Unilever has had a corporate branding campaign for years built around sustainability, and last year launched a Project Sunlight online video as part of the effort. The corporate brand and sustainability efforts fall under the purview of Global Marketing and Communications Officer Keith Weed.

The TV campaign, which has launched in the U.K. and will also air in Indonesia and two other yet-to-be-named countries, was a logical next step, said Mr. Mathieu. He declined to disclose spending, but said it will be "substantial."

The idea of showing the youth leaders is to highlight real "activists or catalysts" for change, he said, such as Kylee McCumber, a girl from Massachusetts who provides meals to 185 children weekly. "They can inspire us that it's possible to do more," he said.