Unilever price cuts campaign
A new price reduction campaign by Unilever Ireland will see its portfolio of brands united for the first time under the U banner
16 November 2009
For the first time Unilever Ireland has united its brands in one campaign, running in November, to publicise wholesale price cuts across its broad portfolio. The company has reduced prices by an average of 11% on some 70% of its 900 product lines, in a bid to drive retail sales volumes.
This month a consumer campaign consisting of audio and visual ads in the national media will highlight the price cuts across several categories, including the premium brands: Flora, Flora pro active, Knorr stock cubes, Magnum, Cornetto, Viennetta, Hellmann’s, Dove, Sure, Vaseline, Surf Small & Mighty, and Cif sprays.
Of note, the ads each contain a caveat advising consumers that the wholesale price reduction must be passed on at retail level, over which Unilever has no control. “We can’t tell our customers what prices to set, so the ad is highlighting that there is a price reduction but the tagline is there to explain that we don’t set retail selling prices. It’s up to the retailers to enforce the reductions.”
O’Brien said she believes the majority of retailers will pass on the reductions however, which Unilever expects will lead to an uplift in sales volumes in the run up to Christmas. The ad will raise awareness of the value-for-money available, which is an important message for brands to get across. “It’s a massive investment on our part. We introduced price reductions in March, on a smaller scale, so we felt it was time to let people know because it’s a big deal.”
In trade and consumer advertising, the company started last year to use the Unilever, or ‘U’ brand as a consumer-facing brand in UK and Ireland. Research indicates that people would be receptive to the company brand and would see it as “a sign of honesty and transparency.” Following the bringing together of its foods, ice cream and home and personal care businesses in UK and Ireland, Unilever feels this is a “logical next step to strengthen how we act as a single business.”
In respect of the new campaign in Ireland, O’Brien says that communicating under the U brand with a single message will achieve more cut through and unify the massive range of brands.