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Partnership Case Study: Unilever, Creativity For Good

Intentions

Unilever employ more than 172,000 people. In 2014 their turnover was €48.4 billion. For such a giant company, it’s important to have a mission statement.

Having already lead the way with their Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever wanted to prove their commitment to creativity for good; working with D&AD positioned them as a driver of sustainable innovation and purposeful communications.

Actions

The Unilever social good White Pencil was set up to recognise creative communications that have made a real difference to the world. It consists of a D&AD Award, as well as a series of events, online content destination and a PR campaign.

Through supporting the White Pencil programme, Unilever have come to be seen as a thought leader in the creative space. 

In summer 2013 we hosted the White Pencil Laboratory. We got together the biggest and brightest with one goal: to push forward change and realise the power of creativity as a force for social good.

We launched a branded hub on the D&AD website, ‘Inspired by White Pencil’ that covered all relevant content and events which further aligned Unilever to the positive developments taking place.

The White Pencil was now on the agenda and in early 2014 we teamed with The International Exchange (TIE) – a leadership development programme that combines the expertise within agencies and studios with the needs of NGO’s to create positive, sustainable change. Our collaboration offered two TIE placements to White Pencil nominees.

Results:

In 2014 our greatest accolade, Black Pencils, were awarded within the White Pencil category. Tim Lindsay, D&AD CEO said, “To see not one, but two, Black Pencils awarded to White Pencil category entrants is a significant indicator of the direction the business is moving in. Across the board we’ve seen a real desire from our juries to recognise and reward ideas that are original, beautifully executed and make a positive difference to peoples lives.”

Our activities have been featured across both mainstream and industry press titles including The Guardian, The Drum, SustainableBrands, Creative Review, Campaign & Digital Arts.

White Pencil entries have risen year on year as both clients and agencies have started to place purposeful work higher up their agenda.

Reflecting on the partnership, Dennis Furniss, VP of Design said, “D&AD have impressed and inspired through our support of the White Pencil. An award, which will galvanise a new generation of creatives to create a more sustainable world. It's incredible to work with a group of people who are not only prepared to take on the issues, but also prepared to challenge the creative community to find solutions".

Five Ways We'll Change The World

Such was the success of the initiative we have now scaled the programme and launched D&AD Impact. Where we reward and inspire real work with real impact. Find out more about D&AD Impact

As a non-profit organisation, we rely upon effective collaborations with likeminded organisations that further support, enable and award excellence to create a thriving community and an international creative advertising network. Want to get involved? Contact Partnerships today. 

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