Summary

Unilever Home Care wanted to improve its ecommerce profile, engagement and sales across Southeast Asia. However, the region’s ecommerce market was increasingly discount-driven, which was at odds with Unilever’s business strategy.

Working with Ogilvy, the company therefore devised a purpose-driven approach to engage its younger target audience and shift consumer behaviour away from a discount focus, towards a sustainability and community impact focus.

During a month-long campaign, the company partnered with one of the leading Asian ecommerce platforms, Shopee, and country-specific NGOs to carry out eco-friendly activities which were funded by product sales. A dedicated Unilever Home Care page on Shopee updated consumers on their country’s performance and offered helpful relevant content, livestreams and games to boost audience engagement. The campaign increased Unilever Home Care’s followers and market share, and sales rose by 32%.

Objectives & aims

Unilever Home Care is Unilever’s portfolio of cleaning and laundry brands such as Omo, Comfort and Cif. The company’s closest competitor Procter & Gamble (P&G) had been closing the gap in ecommerce sales. Unilever therefore briefed Ogilvy to devise a month-long campaign to:

  • Increase ecommerce’s contribution to Unilever Home Care overall sales
  • Generate an increase in preference for Unilever Home Care on e-commerce

The target audience was Generation Z and Millennial consumers who made up 63.4% of ecommerce consumers in the region.

Implementation, execution & tactics

The strategy was to offer consumers a new benefit on buying Unilever Home Care products which would still allow the company to compete at full-price in a discount-heavy environment. Consumer research was undertaken to identify purchase triggers among the target audience. The research identified that 51% of Generation Z and 61% of Millennial consumers wanted to buy more sustainable products, which would have more eco-friendly benefits.

This insight led to the ‘Clean Home. Clean Nation’ campaign which showed consumers the sustainable impact of each Unilever Home Care purchase they made. A month-long partnership was created with Shopee, one of Asia’s largest e-commerce platform, as well as local NGOs who carried out the country-specific community activities which were funded by product sales.

A Unilever Home Care page was designed on Shopee which showed country-specific live trackers for the company’s six leading markets in Southeast Asia. Consumers could track their country’s activities and the environmental and sustainability impact, for every purchase that they made.

To further engage the target market, the page included livestreamed activity updates and in-platform games such as Shopee Catch where users try to catch eggs to win points. These features had previously driven high engagement amongst Unilever’s Generation Z and millennial audience.  In addition, the page also included content which showcased environmental changes that Unilever had made to its products and offered advice and support on being more sustainable in daily life.

Country-specific activities included:

  • Cleaning activities across mosques in Indonesia during Ramadan on behalf of Sahaja, an Indonesia-only floor cleaning brand
  • A campaign to plant one hectare of trees in the Philippines
  • A plastics recycling campaign in Vietnam and Thailand

Online consumers were directed to the Unilever Home Care Shopee page via social media adverts on Facebook, Instagram and the Asian messaging service Telegram. In addition, individual brands’ social channels drove organic awareness of the campaign.

Results

  • Unilever Home Care’s Shopee followers grew across all markets during the campaign. For example, in Singapore, followers grew by 21% and in Malaysia by 12%.
  • Unilever Home Care’s contribution to overall Unilever market share grew by 10%
  • Unilever Home Care’s ecommerce sales grew by 32% during the campaign. Malaysian sales grew by 14%, while sales in the Philippines increased by 10%.
  • Overall, Unilever’s Home Care market share grew to 14.7% and the gap between Unilever and P&G stretched to 3.3%, the largest in three years.