Media Mavens

Media Mavens: Luis Di Como, Unilever

Exec Dives Into Digital to Extend Worldwide Reach While Heightening Personalization for Consumers

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On his last stop with Unilever as VP-media for the Americas, Luis Di Como worked with the world's largest media market in the U.S., what he describes as one of the "most peculiar and particular" in Brazil, and some of the smallest in Central America.

Luis Di Como, Unilever
Luis Di Como, Unilever

Since becoming senior VP-global media last year, he's still got that —plus a whole lot more variety. Yet he also sees the addition of digital media making global media efforts much more possible.

"Players like Facebook, which we have a great relationship with, allow us to [have global media strategies] where we have this enormous reach but at the same time this high level of personalization," said Mr. Di Como, 41, who has spent 20 years with Unilever in a variety of regional and global marketing roles.

One of his favorite examples is the Magnum "Pleasure Hunt" online game developed by Lowe Brindfors in Sweden but quickly syndicated globally, including the U.S., where the ice-cream brand was being launched. Three days after launch, and with no paid media, it became the most tweeted URL on Twitter.

Mr. Di Como said it was part of an integrated plan that allowed consumers all over the world to have an individual experience related to the brand.

He expects to see more "social by design" campaigns for Unilever's global brands, where the idea is developed toward the goal of maximizing "earned media" so that consumers will want to share the marketing. With the web and social media having fewer physical or national borders, such efforts will be more global, yet also designed for personal involvement.

"The new era is coming with the highest level of personalization," Mr. Di Como said. "We are heading to a world of unlimited access to all kinds of content that will be stored in the cloud. ... Mobile and portable devices will be the killer platform that will continue growing."

He also wants to use more addressable media that customizes messages and heightens relevance for individuals.

Even so, Mr. Di Como acknowledged, "TV does still play a key role, and we will still invest a big portion of our money there," including in developing markets, which account for 55% of Unilever's business now and a projected 70% plus by 2020. There, too, "TV is still at the heart of all our plans," Mr. Di Como said, but "we need to manage the short and the long term at the same time."

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