Unilever to halve new plastic use

Unilever has pledged to halve the amount of new plastic it uses over the next five years.

The FMCG giant, which produces 700,000 tonnes of new plastic every year, will seek to use more recycled plastic, create more reusable bottles and find alternative materials.

CEO Alan Jope tells the BBC the strategy is part of Unilever’s efforts to stay relevant to younger consumers who care about purpose and sustainability, and the conduct of the companies and the brands they buy.

“This is part of responding to society but also remaining relevant for years to come in the market,” says Jope, adding that Unilever “profoundly believes” sustainability leads to a better financial top and bottom line.

However, he maintains that plastic is a “terrific material” and says a “hysterical move to glass may be trendy but it would have a dreadful impact on the carbon footprint of packaging”.

READ MORE: Unilever promises to halve new plastic use

ITV launches mental wellness campaign

ITV has launched a mental wellness campaign that includes the UK’s first silent ad break.

The Britain Get Talking campaign, created with Uncommon and the first stage of a five-year commitment from ITV to promote mental wellness, debuted during the final of Britain’s Got Talent with the message: ‘Anxiety and depression in children has risen by 48% since 2004’.

The show’s hosts, Ant and Dec, emphasised how something as simple as talking and listening to one another can help to build mental wellness. The show was then paused in an effort to get viewers to reconnect with other people in the room.

The silent takeover was followed by ads from Dunelm, Oral-B, Gillette, Seat and Network Rail, as well as a spot featuring a number of ITV presenters including Dermot O’Leary, Phillip Schofield, Holly Willoughby and Gordon Ramsay.

“By disrupting one of our biggest shows this Saturday night, we want to reach a wide family audience and create the space to start a national conversation about mental wellness,” says Carolyn McCall, ITV chief executive.

“At the heart of ITV’s social purpose strategy is this new five year commitment to help make mental wellness a priority in all our lives. The campaign highlights the importance of talking and listening in building mental wellness, ensuring we make looking after our mental health as much of a part of our daily lives and culture as our physical health.”

A dedicated website has been made in collaboration with long-term mental health charity partner Mind and YoungMinds.

M&S teams up with Frozen for kidswear

Marks & Spencer has partnered with Frozen to launch an exclusive range of festive kidswear.

Marking the launch of Frozen 2 in cinemas on 22 November, M&S will offer 72 Frozen 2 products including fancy dress costumes, pyjamas, advent calendars and soft toys.

Some 54 of the retailer’s biggest shops will include selfie stations where children can take a photo with characters Elsa or Anna. This will be supported by a range of marketing, including window displays, social media content and mobile marketing, which M&S says is “critical” as more searches of kidswear (more than 60%) are made on mobile than any other area of clothing.

M&S will also raise money for UK charity Together for Short Lives by selling an exclusive tote bag in stores from October. M&S food will sponsor a special Together for Short Lives and Frozen 2 ball, as well as working with Disney on a couple of special events for the charity.

“Growing M&S kidswear is an important focus at M&S as we work to appeal to family-aged customers,” says Nathan Ansell, director of clothing & home marketing at M&S.

“Frozen 2 is a highly anticipated film and when the trailer landed it was record-breaking so we know lots of our customers will be excited to visit our special Frozen 2 shops and check out our exclusive product. It’s also important to us, especially at Christmas time, that we support causes our customers and colleagues care about so we’re incredibly proud to also be working with Together for Short Lives.”

Thinx unveils first national TV campaign

Period underwear company Thinx has launched its first national TV ad campaign in an effort to “destigmatise” menstruation.

The MENstruation campaign, created by BBDO New York, features scenes of cisgender men experiencing periods, asking the question: ‘If we all had periods, would we be more comfortable talking about them?’

Scenes in the film include a boy telling his dad he thinks he’s got his period, a man asking his colleague for a tampon, and a man rolling over in bed to reveal he left a blood stain on his sheets.

The ad concludes with a call to action: ‘It’s time to get comfortable’.

“To us, this commercial means so much more than trying to sell products, it’s about starting a conversation with the goal of making that discussion more comfortable for everyone, as well as an opportunity to better educate people on the options that are better for the planet and their bodies,” says chief brand officer Siobhan Lonergan.

Social media overtakes print to become third-largest advertising channel

social mediaAdvertisers will spend more on social media platforms than on print for the first time this year, according to Zenith’s Advertising Expenditure Forecasts.

Advertising expenditure on social media will grow 20% this year to reach US$84bn (£68bn), while advertisers’ combined expenditure on newspapers and magazines will fall 6% to US$69bn (£56bn).

Social media will be the third-largest channel for advertising this year, with a 13% share of global ad spend, behind television (29%) and paid search (17%).

“Social media advertising gives brands the opportunity to drive growth by using automated tools to optimise their campaigns for key business objectives,” says Matt James, Zenith’s global brand president.

“By using first-party data from their own websites to identify potential customers on social media, brands can convert consumers who are already on the path to purchase and target look-a-like audiences more effectively.”

Overall, Zenith forecasts that global ad spend will grow by 4.4% this year to reach US$640bn (£520bn), down slightly from the 4.6% forecast made in June.

Growth is expected to remain stable at 4.3% in 2020 and 4.4% in 2021, as compared to the June forecast of 4.4% growth in 2020 and 4.3% in 2021.