Nestlé is on the cusp of launching a collaboration with ‘ethical video platform’ Good-Loop that will see KitKat ad spend get pumped back into its Cocoa Plant farming sustainability scheme when people watch ads online, and it’s already mulling extending the pilot to other brands.
“It could happen with Nespresso,” said Oliver Camp, lead at Nestlé’s innovation arm Henri, teasing there was “lots more to follow” that would support the FMCG brand’s goal of balancing purpose with profit.
Both Good-Loop and Nestlé are heralding the partnership as evidence that corporate social responsibility need no longer be at odds with the business impact, or in Camp's words a "vanity project". Good-Loop even claims its tech can help brands up their engagement on premium video two-fold.
12 months ago Nestlé cherry-picked Good-Loop – which lets audiences ‘unlock’ the ability to make charitable donations on behalf brands after watching their ads – from a host of startups to run a £50,000 pilot.
Good-Loop is already working with Unilever’s Knorr on a similar initiative that funnels ad spend into external charities.
For Nestlé, it was tasked with promoting “the benefit and value of Nestle’s sustainability practices” to its farmers, communities and consumers. So, the Good-Loop chose to drive donations to Cocoa Plan, the programme set up to do just that amid criticism of the ethics and sustainability around the firm's product supply chain.
To drive donations, the Good-Loop came up with a unique opt-in solution: from Monday (1 October), viewers served a KitKat ad have the option of watching for 15 seconds, then they’ll get the ability to choose where half of whatever Nestlé paid for that ad will be invested. Vegetable growing kits, solar chargers or school kits are the current options.
“Nestlé [has] actually been able to double its ad engagement on a creative it’s already promoting on various channels. But at the same time fund and put its marketing money into a social impact,” explained Amy Williams, co-founder and chief executive of Good-Loop during a talk at Ad:tech London on Wednesday (27 September).
Williams later clarified with The Drum that this stat came from Good-Loop’s "own benchmarks which compared to the industry standard”, rather than from any specific tests performed by Nestlé.
To accompany the campaign, a real-time donation tracker lets consumers see how much they’ve contributed, as well as the percentage of people who picked each cause.
Williams said: “We were really focused with Nestle on trying to create more transparency, more accountability and more trust as well as going a bit deeper into the story about the Cocoa plan.”
For Nestlé's Camp, this ethical adtech means not having to tell brand marketers to "choose between their end of month sales, the bottom line or all the things they have to report on a spreadsheet to senior management" versus what they might personally be really interested in, or "greater altruistic endeavours".
Purpose has been profitable for FMCG giants. Unilever recently revealed that its sustainable brands were the fastest-growing part of its business.