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Unilever trials promoted Twitter Moments for first time as part of Persil's 'critical' children's playtime campaign

Persil is taking on the 'shocking' social issue that children now spend as much time outdoors as maximum security prisoners in the latest insallement of its long-running ‘Dirt is Good’ campaign.

It has seen the Unilever-owned brand claim a number of firsts, including the use of Twitter's ‘best of’ Moments feature since it launched last year. 

Like many under the Unliever umbrella, Persil is trying to move its advertising towards a ‘brand-speak brand-do’ model and wants to help the parents using its product to solve some other real-life issues facing their kids.

Based on the insight that childhood play is under threat, the 'Free the Kids' work has leant on the striking statistic that the majority of children spend as little time outdoors as maximum security prisoners, with one in two spending an hour or less outside per day and one in 10 never playing outdoors.

Set in a maximum security prison to “hit home with parents”, the ad asks parents to share their views on play and sign up their child’s school to Outdoor Classroom Day via the newly created ‘Dirt is Good’ website.

“We were shocked when we discovered that children today were enjoying as little time outside as prisoners. That is why OMO/Persil decide to make Free The Kids, to bring this issue to life, and to start a global conversation about the importance of play for children's learning and development” said James Hayhurst, global equity director OMO/Persil.

In his first brand collaboration, highly regarded advisor on education Sir Ken Robinson will chair the ‘Dirt is Good’ Child Development Advisory Board, alongside Dr Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute of Play.

The board will support the 'Dirt is Good' campaign and its commitment to rebalance children’s lives, investigating the best ways to help children play, explore and get dirty every day so that they can learn and develop to their full potential.

Twitter Moments

To promote the campaign, Unilever chose Twitter’s Moment platform as its primary advertising partner, a first for the company. Twitter’s offering suited the "news-worthy" campaign, according to Hayhurst.

“We wanted to use a vehicle that would enable us to get comment and opinion on the piece, to start a conversation” he added.

Gina Roughan, content director at digital agency Zone, curated the Moment for Unilever, which took two weeks to develop.

Speaking to The Drum, Roughan said harnessing the Moments platfrom has enabled it to tell a compelling story in a quick snackable format.

"With Moments you are engaging the audience for much longer [compared to other social media platforms], taking them on a narrative journey. You are telling a story - there can be peaks and troughs and different formats from text to video, so it is a combination of all of Twitter’s products in one experience," she said. 

Establishing a framework for the campaign's success has seen Unilever agree a set of KPIs with Twitter 

"We worked collaboratively to craft the Moment to meet those specific KPIs, which have been ordered in a hierarchy of different metrics we are looking to measure across the campaign," added Roughan. 

In terms of how long this promotion sits in the feed, Persil’s Moment will run for 24 hours, although it's not yet known if that will be extended.

Since this offering is relatively new, there is not much competition for the top spot, with Persil’s promoted Moment appearing as the second page in the Moments tab, sandwiched between organic content.

While the main focus for the campaign was developing the Moment, this is not an exclusive partnership so the brand is still distributing cross-channel from Youtube through to Facebook and Instagram, as well as influencer and blogger outreach.

Featured by The Drum