Unilever teams with Apple for Europe and Asia mobile campaign following US success

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

As mobile devices and ‘apps’ appear to be taking over the world of advertising, Unilever will expand its presence on Apple’s iAd platform to Europe and Asia by the end of the second quarter next year.

The consumer giant marketed its Dove For Men personal care brand on iAd in the US in July this year, and its success and projected growth for this form of advertising has influenced the decision expand further, Babs Ragaiah, vice president Global media, told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com.

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“Mobile is an important channel for us as we believe most of the world will eventually get online via mobile, mostly in developing and emerging markets and that apps will the main way consumers access the web in the future...” ​he said.

The company believes that advertising in this way will allow it to reach a higher number of consumers as more and more people embrace mobile internet.

“We need to be at the leading edge of how we engage with consumers in mobile, smart phones and apps,”​ said Ragaiah.

“The iphone was a turning point in mobile and specifically what smart phones can be. Apple are experts in this area in a way no other company is and it benefits us greatly to be able to work with them to tap into their insights, creative, technology, and sheer knowledge of the mobile space.”

Currently, when users click on mobile ads, they are almost always taken out of their app to a web browser where the advertiser’s webpage is loaded, according to Apple. With this new technology, however, users can stay within their app while engage with the ad, such as playing a YouTube video or playing games, the company says.

“We believe in their iOS platform to deliver engaging storytelling for our consumers in an impactful way and in their ability to target consumers based on interests/passions. Additionally, Apple is obviously one of the most popular brands among consumers today.”

Ragaiah explained that the appeal of the iAd platform over ‘normal’ mobile campaigns is because it reframes how mobile communication can be.

“Rather than just a translation of our existing traditional media assets, this has been built from the ground up and tailored for the small screen mobile environment incorporating both entertainment and utility.”

The plan from the Anglo-Dutch firm is to rollout the campaign in the UK and France in December and in Germany in January next year. There are also discussions to launch in Asia by the second quarter next year.

Growth in Asia

The Californian computer company has teamed up with advertising specialists Dentsu in Japan, who will be responsible for the selling and creative execution of iAds in Japan.

“Mobile advertising is Japan’s fastest-growing platform and iAd’s rich media experience and engaged audience make it uniquely poised to capture mobile’s full potential for advertisers and developers,”​ said Ryuichi Mori, senior executive vice president at Dentsu.

Since its US launch in July it has emerged as a powerful new way for brands to reach the tens of millions of iPhone and iPod Touch users, whilst providing a significant revenue stream for developers, according to Apple.

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