Unilever and Publicis Groupe’s Razorfish began working together in 2009, when the FMCG giant appointed its first global digital roster to reflect the industry’s shift toward digital media.
Length of Relationship
Razorfish first joined Unilever’s digital roster in 2009, and has since expanded their relationship across several business units. The shop has done work for several major Unilever brands, including Axe, Tony & Guy, VO5, Lipton, Rexona and Signal. Even as Unilever restructured and sought to reduce their agency roster in 2011, Razorfish picked up Dove Hair care and Surf detergent, becoming the global AOR for both brands after separate pitches. The shop also picked up the business for one more global brand, Vaseline, after forming a partnership with BBH in late 2011.
Razorfish’s London office leads global strategy for the relationship, while local offices work on the massive regional business. The agency seeks to be a major growth-driver for the Unilever brands they serve, which is one factor that led to the formation of their partnership with BBH. The two agencies push each other towards success via mutual KPIs, and even set up collaborative workspaces in each other’s offices. Unilever treats Razorfish as more of a business partner than just their digital agency, often looking to the shop to fill roles not traditionally assigned to digital agencies – like helping Unilever shift its go-to-market strategy from product-centric to customer-centric in the hair care category, and even producing a TV spot for their body spray brand, Axe.
The relationship has yielded several noteworthy campaigns over the years; but one that really stands out is the “All Things Hair” YouTube channel that the shop launched in 2013 in a partnership with Google. Even though ‘big data’ is a somewhat overused phrase in 2016, when the channel was first launched, it was at the forefront of leveraging big data to provide real-time insights, as well as truly engaging content that consumers wanted to see. The channel is filled with hair-styling tutorials from video bloggers, promoting several brands in a single campaign, a first for the marketing giant.
Razorfish and Unilever always strive to integrate digital strategy and creativity to produce their work, but the most important thing is always ROI and improving business. The successful “All Things Hair” was recently revived in 2016, and one campaign they ran for Axe resulted in the scent becoming the # 1 selling body spray in the US. Their most recent earnings report showed that the company is beating estimates on growth across their Personal Care brands.