Unilever's Cea talks risk and reward at NEXT

NEW YORK: PRWeek kicked off its NEXT Conference this morning with a Q&A session with Christine Cea, director of marketing communications at Unilever.

NEW YORK: PRWeek kicked off its NEXT Conference this morning with a Q&A session with Christine Cea, director of marketing communications at Unilever.

Cea discussed the balance of risk and reward and how one decision at Unilever shifted the playing field in how it approaches marketing and PR. The decision was to put Dove on one of the first seasons of the apprentice and put the brand in the hands of the contestants.

“What we got back from it was worth the risk. It was a challenge to sell giving up control to our marketers, but once we let go it changed everything and we historically refer to that as a tipping point,” Cea said of the Dove apprentice episode.

Cea also discussed a recent campaign where Dove asked consumers to share profile pictures from their Facebook pages to document different milestones in their lives. Dove created an app for consumers to upload photos and launched the campaign coinciding with a product launch.

“You have to truly have two way communication because it creates loyalty and advocacy that at the end of the day will help grow business,” Cea said of the decision to continue to do campaigns that hand over control to consumers.

In taking the risk by handing over control, Cea said it is important to have a partnership with the legal team and have protocol and strategy in place across the company.

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