3 Ways Unilever uses targeted campaigns to resonate with different audiences

Jaime Netzer

When fewer advertising mediums existed (think: television, radio, print, billboards), brands created ads that appealed to big audiences, or they winked at different audiences within a larger campaign. But, with social media, marketers have an exponentially larger number of ways to connect with the modern consumer and social campaigns can be targeted to increasingly specific groups.

But a wide-open field of possibilities can create confusion: How do you find the consumers who might be interested in your brand in the places they naturally spend time? And how do you create digital marketing campaigns that will resonate, turning potential consumers into fans, and, in turn, into loyal customers?

Unilever’s targeted social media campaigns for Dove Soap offers three exemplary campaigns for the same product targeting different audiences:

Reaching Gen Z with Snapchat

Dove recently promoted its Shower Foam on Snapchat with a lens that puts users into a virtual shower and a filter that overlays a mask of foam on top of their face. As with many Snapchat filters, the foam “followed” users’ facial expressions, offering them a real-time preview of how the shower foam works in a silly, interactive context.

While a face of bubbles might not encourage a sale for everyone, Snapchat appeals to a large portion of younger demographics: of the 150 million daily Snapchat users, 60% belong to Gen Z and are 13-24 years old — the prime age to appreciate some irreverent branded fun. (An additional 26% of daily Snapchat users are millennials, meaning just 14% of Snapchat users are 35+).

Finding Millennials on Facebook

If Snapchat is the choice for Gen Z, millennials still mostly hang out on Facebook: over 60% of daily Facebook users are Millennials. Another statistic makes the case for reaching millennials on Facebook even more powerfully: 88% of people in this generation use Facebook daily.

Unilever created an ad campaign for Dove meant to reach millennials on Facebook and we find it effective for a few important reasons. The ad is part of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, which isn't new: different iterations of the campaign, which has evolved into a message of empowerment for women, have appeared for the past 13 years. But the current Facebook campaign, in which real women talk about what beauty means to them, leans heavily on user-generated content (UGC), something to which millennials respond particularly well: as we’ve shown, 84% of millennials say UGC has some influence over what they buy.

Finding progressive moms on YouTube

YouTube has become a hub for internet activity: it’s nearly the biggest search engine, second only to Google, and it’s medium — video — works particularly well with millennials, 62% of whom will take action after watching an ad on the channel. But beyond that, YouTube fosters an ever-growing community of moms who both create videos and tune in for, “tutorials, personal advice, and other adventures of motherhood,” writes USA Today.

Dove debuted a new ad on YouTube this spring, the focus of which is real moms (#RealMoms). The ad, which at press time had nearly two hundred thousand views, features traditional examples of mothers (heterosexually married moms) as well as progressive examples (single moms, lesbian moms, and a transgender mom) and the message is empowerment — in the ad, the mothers talk about learning to trust in their own mothering abilities, even if they don’t look or act like June Cleaver. By reaching out to audiences likely to be on the channel, Dove increases the potential engagement with their ad.

Our platform helps brands find the right groups of people to monitor on social media, thereby offering brands an understanding of who their consumers are and what they want so that brands can deliver it with targeted promotions designed to increase consumer engagement.

With the personalized targeting offered by social, “you can begin to truly deliver the right message to the right people at the right time,” writes Adweek. Spredfast (now Khoros) can help you always find the right customers and meet them on the social channels where they spend their time. Learn more social media strategies using our Social Media Pocket Guide whitepaper.

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