From ‘Animal Crossing’ to Netflix: Unilever and P&G seek for younger shoppers


CHICAGO, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Unilever Plc (ULVR.L)  and Procter & Gamble (PG.N), the world’s high two  advertisers, are in search of out youthful audiences by reallocating some 2021 spending away from conventional TV and into video video games, streaming providers and media packages operated by retailers like Walmart (WMT.N) and Tesco (TSCO.L).

As they proceed to have a look at their digital advert budgets and attempt to attraction to youthful customers – who’ve through the pandemic convened round Nintendo Switch sport consoles and in entrance of Netflix screens – the 2 client giants have turned to tie-ups with standard providers like Hulu and HBO Max and video games like Fortnite and Animal Crossing.

Shoppers of all ages additionally prevented large field retailers’ shops and positioned orders on on-line platforms. Following a 25.7% improve in 2020, retail ecommerce gross sales worldwide are anticipated to rise to $4.92 trillion in 2021, in response to information agency eMarketer.

Unilever is “rethinking” the way it spends its promoting funds because the extended pandemic has accelerated a shift in the way in which individuals store and entertain themselves, Luis Di Como, Unilever’s government vp of world media, advised Reuters. He mentioned digital advertising and marketing at Unilever, which makes Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Dove cleaning soap, now accounts for roughly 45% of its whole media funds versus about 40% previous to the pandemic.

Unilever holds month-to-month gaming “master classes” for members of its advertising and marketing staff, inviting skilled online game gamers and business specialists to maintain the corporate attuned to shoppers, Di Como mentioned.

A consultant of P&G, which makes Tide detergent and Gillette razors, mentioned its “plans are evolving” to succeed in individuals “where they are – including in places like streaming and gaming.”

“It seems a little riskier – I mean it’s test-and-learn at this point,” said Elizabeth Marsten, a senior director at marketing data firm Tinuiti. “But at the same time, how will you know if you don’t try? You’ve got to go where the people are and 20-year-olds don’t have linear TV.”


Unilever’s total marketing budget is 7.5 billion euros ($8.85 billion). Di Como declined to break out how much of that it spends on media, but  he said Unilever is shelling out “much more” on ecommerce promoting platforms along with gaming and streaming platforms.

“We are investing on retailer media. So not solely the pure-players like Amazon but additionally – when you consider omni-channel – gamers like Walmart, Tesco, Target, Carrefour which might be additionally changing into media corporations,” Di Como said.

Unilever is also branding new products to appeal to people who stream more TV and movies during lockdowns. In a nod to shoppers’ heavy use of streaming entertainment, for instance, Ben & Jerry’s launched an ice cream flavor called “Netflix and Chill’d,” a play on the popular millennial internet meme “Netflix and Chill.”

Late last year, Unilever’s Hellmann’s condiment brand tied up with Nintendo farming video game “Animal Crossing: New Horizon,” promising to donate to a food waste charity each time a player donated a virtual vegetable to charity within the game.

According to data firm Newzoo, there are more than 2.7 billion gamers worldwide, and the size of the video game market will surpass $200 billion by 2023.

In  Britain, Unilever’s deodorant  brand Axe sponsors a handful of top gamers, including  Calfreezy.  In China, which contributes  about 6%  to overall sales, Di Como said the company backs e-sport celebrities  and leagues,  which are rapidly gaining popularity among the affluent younger generation in Asia. The company has an Apple TV+ documentary on paternity leave sponsored by its Dove Men + Care brand.

P&G also has a tie-up with Animal Crossing through its Venus women’s razor brand. The company told Reuters that it measured nearly 1 billion impressions when it created more skin types for in-game characters, which represent features including freckles, acne, cellulite, hair scars and stretch marks and psoriasis.

Reporting by Richa Naidu; Editing by Ken Li, Vanessa O’Connell and Steve Orlofsky

Tide laundry detergent, a product distributed by Procter & Gamble, is pictured on sale at a Ralphs grocery store in Pasadena, California January 21, 2014.  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Ice creams of Ben & Jerry's, a Unilever brand, are seen at their shop in London, Britain, October 5, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Tide laundry detergent, a product distributed by Procter & Gamble, is pictured on sale at a Ralphs grocery store in Pasadena, California January 21, 2014.  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni