At the launch event for The New Brand Spirit Hamish Pringle cited Unilever CMO Keith Weed who recently challenged all 400 Unilever brands to come up with a (social) purpose, answering convincingly the question for its "raison d'etre".
With the launch of "Project Sunshine" two days ago on international children's day Unilever attempts to do at least two things: giving a "higher" reason for being for its biggest brands and helping to kindle optimism for a "bright(er)" future and inspire and encourage millions across the globe for sustainable living . The campaign created by Ogilvy UK and DAVID (Argentina) attempts to motivate parents to bring children into the world (http://bit.ly/17T0cTl) and to showcase how Unilever brands contribute to make the world a better place (https://www.projectsunlight.com/). It is trying no less than to turn the eyes on the good and hopeful things happening across the world vs. the score of negative news flooding everybody via mass media daily.
While Project Sunshine certainly confirms some clichés about adlands way of creating pathos, it is to be commended for using the power of advertising and modern social media communications to spread hope, to create purpose in a world that is filled with suffering and the unsustainable use of resources. Showcasing best practice, stimulating optimism can contribute to a virtuous cycle of behavioural change and innovation. The world certainly needs more of that. And if media does not contribute to that, why shouldn't advertisers take the initiative?
Unilever has shown that this corporate giant takes sustainable seriously. That gives the company and its brands the right and the authority to run a campaign for a brighter future. It is a bold move that will be monitored closely by critics and fans alike. We will keep you posted, too!