Unilever now literally knows what’s in its “brand DNA.” The global behemoth has been giving its marketers and agency folks DNA tests, something they all volunteered for as part of an effort to make better, less-biased ads.
The effort is part of the company’s “Unstereotype” movement to stop pigeonholing people in ads based on ethnicity, gender, nationality or sexual orientation. Aline Santos, Unilever’s executive vice president-global marketing and chief diversity and inclusion officer, is expected to talk about results of “The Unstereotype Experiment” during a presentation on Monday at the FQ Lounge in Cannes.
The idea is to help marketers and agency people break down stereotypes about other people by learning how diverse they are themselves. In a video Unilever posted on YouTube about the experiment, one employee looks at her DNA test results on her phone, wide-eyed, as she says, “Mum, what did you do?” Others talk about the surprise of discovering Asian, North African/Middle Eastern, Basque, Ashkenazi or other Jewish DNA in their profiles.