By Hannah Bowler, Senior reporter

November 16, 2023 | 4 min read

The Cif and Comfort owner’s president of home care brands makes clear why it is investing in ‘cleantertainment.’

Unilever has created a soap opera series for TikTok using real-life cleaning products in an effort to capitalize on the ‘clean influencer‘ trend.

‘Dirty Deeds: A Kitchen Crime’ kicks off with five short episodes airing on TikTok across 10 markets. The show features the likes of Cif and Comfort reimagined as animated characters bringing to life a classic love rivalry. TikTok creator Sam Cotton co-made the series – his channel has 3 million followers.

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Eduardo Campanella, the president of home care brands at Unilever, says his team landed on the soap opera idea because the genre is globally revered. “Many people have a love for melodrama and it’s driving short-form video content – this space felt like I good opportunity to explore,” he says.

Cleaning influencers, tidying hacks and product reviews are a huge trend on video-sharing platforms. The TikTok-specific #CleanTok has over 98.5bn views and shows no signs of slowing down. To own the conversation around cleaning hacks, the FMCG conglomerate took sponsorship of the #CleanTok hashtag in June.

“The rise of #CleanTok on TikTok – since the start of the pandemic and beyond – shows just how attached we are to making our homes look, feel and smell good. We want to continue to inspire and educate people and, by working with TikTok’s creative teams, to develop new and engaging content,” adds Campanella.

TikTok has worked with its agency, Gravity Road, to develop promotional assets for the series, which will then be distributed by paid media and through Unilever’s owned social channels like Instagram and Facebook. To boost reach organically, the social team will also be engaging and promoting users’ reactions.

“The main objective is to build awareness and drive traffic and views to the series. We see this as a good opportunity to test and learn about the performance of this unique brand entertainment format,” says Campanella.

Along with the series, Unilever has launched the #CleanTok Awards, handing out prizes to ‘cleanfluencers.’ The awards will recognize talent in four categories: ‘Most Helpful Hack,’ ‘Most Motivational Sunday Reset,’ ‘Most OMG Extreme Clean’ and ‘Most Satisfying ASMR.’

Since Unilever took on the sponsorship of #CleanTok, the page has racked up an extra 35bn views and now counts 17,000 loyal users. Along with engagement, Campanella revealed his team can use #CleanTok to gain insights into young people’s cleaning behaviors.

“Before social media, young people used to get their cleaning hacks from their parents. Now, young people search for this help via social media – 58% of users say they are more likely to trust brands after learning about them from creators’ feeds,” he says. “We are implementing new campaigns in a space where the Gen Z audience is, who have become more engaged in cleaning since the pandemic.”

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