Consumer goods giant Unilever - the company behind 400 brands including Dove, Lipton, and Ben & Jerry’s - is hailing the link up of its People Data Centres (PDCs) with Google Cloud AI for building a more effective advertising strategy.
The company, which operates across more than 190 markets globally, claims to have used the PDCs to create 1 billion one-to-one relationships with its customers through meaningful and relevant dialogue.
The PDCs are focused on three areas: social and business analytics, consumer engagement centres, and consumer relationship management.
Using a broad range of consumer data alongside Google Cloud AI tools such as translation, visual analytics, and natural language processing (NLP), Unilever insists it has been able to generate insights faster than ever before and gain a deeper understanding of customer needs.
Citing the success of a recent campaign for Close-up toothpaste in Asia, Unilever has been able to add scale, reach, and personalisation.
Using search analytics, Unilever discovered that the second most searched-for term for its website users was "learning how to kiss". Using this insight, the team created a three-day campaign for the brand around Valentine’s Day, deployed in six key Asian markets.
Recognising that they needed to resonate with a target audience that spanned culturally diverse areas across Asia - from Thailand and Indonesia to India - the team analysed trending social media data to optimise their marketing assets in realtime, and created culturally relevant content that spoke respectfully to each region and consumer individually.
Unilver then used Google Cloud’s Cloud Vision API, to analyse user-generated content around its campaign hashtags and Valentine’s Day. These insights were employed to create and deploy six-second bumper ads daily during the campaign on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. The team used Natural Language API to monitor online comments about the campaign and ads. This then allowed Unilever to finetune the message delivery of ads that resonated most with its audience across those social channels.
The campaign touched nearly 500 million people and generated positive uplift in brand engagement and consideration.
Unilever vice-president of global PDCs Alex Owens said: "Part of what makes Google Cloud a great partner is its brainpower and resources. The data-centric culture of test, learn and optimise has been a hallmark of our relationship, and it makes us confident that we’ll be seeing fantastic new products and applications in the future.
"At Unilever, we believe in purpose-driven brands. Google Cloud’s products are rich in quality and purpose, and its people are committed to customers like us."