Unilever CMO: ’We’ve got to be able to see over the walled gardens’

Unilever's top marketer Keith Weed used his Ad Week New York keynote address to share details of the company's 5Cs strategy

Unilever kicked off its Ad Week New York activity with marketing chief Keith Weed taking to the conference stage to demand more transparency from players like Facebook and Google, and also sharing its new "5Cs framework."

In a rare Ad Week keynote address, Weed spoke of the “murky digital media supply chain” and reiterated that the CPG giant wants 100% viewable ads and the ability to have all its ad campaigns verified by third party measurement providers in order to demonstrate the ROI of its ever-growing digital media investment.

He added: “One thing that’s holding us back is that the digital media supply chain is still very murky, and still isn’t where it should be. You can still say hold on it’s a new area. But is it really new now?”

This “three Vs strategy” is a process that kicked off three years ago, and one that the CPG giant has made “good progress on," but there are a number of areas where the supply chain must improve including minimizing the impact of ad fraud, as well as brand safety.

“We’re not quite there, but we can give ourselves a tick on that, but the one I’d really like to highlight on the report card here is cross-platform measurement,” said Weed.

“And this is critical because at the end of the day we’ve got to be able to see over the walled gardens of the Googles and the Facebooks and the Twitters and the Snapchats, and be able to actually measure across the whole market.”

This is necessary to better understand the dynamics between media consumption, and spend, on one media channel, and can affect consumer behavior both off- and online, according to Weed.

“It’s in all our interests, as the good guys will win, and take all the fraud off the market,” he said. “This will bring much more growth into the digital world.”

Weed went on to showcase some of the company’s work with emerging digital media channels, namely its experimentation with Amazon’s Alexa when it comes to content discovery, as well as its work with startups such as an outfit called GoPuff whereby it can deliver ice cream to consumers within 30 minutes of their initial order.

The keynote also focused on Unilever’s 5C framework consisting of consumers, connect, content, community, and commerce.

“People don’t hate advertising. They hate bad advertising. As an industry we have a responsibility to put out good creative,” reads a transcript of his keynote. “We balance our assets across traditional interruption advertising and seek out content, which specifically appeals to people’s needs or passions. This is a huge shift in the way we tell stories and build our advertising.”

Search The Drum Jobs

Explore the best jobs in Marketing and Media industries
View all open jobs

Ronan Shields

I'm the digital editor at The Drum, and cover adtech and martech. Prefer news and analysis, over opinion pieces. Current fascination(s) are blockchain and media futures trading; also curious about transhumanism on a personal basis. NYC-based, but really London Irish.

All by Ronan