Unilever announces plans for ‘cross-media measurement model’

Unilever has announced it is working on a new brand measurement model built in partnership with Facebook, Google, Twitter, Kantar Media and Nielsen.

Described as a “cross media measurement model”, the goal is said to be to help brands “measure and understand campaign impact across the media landscape”.

While sharing the news in a post on LinkedIn, Unilever CMO Keith Weed said: “I’m thrilled to share that Unilever has been working to develop a holistic system for measuring advertising investments across TV, digital and social media marketing to help brands measure and understand campaign impact across the media landscape.”

The company said it was leading an effort to “develop a model that will combine existing industry measurement tools into a best-in-class system”.

It aims to measure the campaign’s audience, the audience reaction and the impact and lasting effects of a marketing initiative over the short, medium and long-term.

 “With help from its partners, Unilever seeks to create a system that will operate across multiple markets to offer a global solution,” the firm said.

It also claimed the move would “not only put privacy first, but put consumer experience at the forefront of the advertising ecosystem in an innovative way”.

Unilever has said that it will engage with the World Federation of Advertisers and other industry bodies “to invite other brands, platforms and publishers to join in efforts to further develop the holistic measurement system”.

Weed said: “To realise our vision of a more transparent and high-quality digital ecosystem, our partnerships have been, and will remain, instrumental in developing an always-on, privacy-safe model for cross media measurement.

“We are hugely encouraged that our digital and measurement partners worked with us to enable these significant steps towards solving the challenge of holistic media measurement.

“This represents a genuine willingness across the industry to find creative, effective solutions to shared issues. We look forward to welcoming other leading advertisers and industry associations to the initiative to help address this industry challenge.”

Facebook VP of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson said: “Unilever has always been a champion of key industry-wide initiatives. It’s important that we and others work toward a cross-media measurement solution – one that leverages independent third-party systems, protects privacy, and improves people’s experience with ads.”

Twitter’s head of revenue and operations Matt Derella said: “With a privacy first approach, we are excited to partner with Unilever on their forward-looking measurement solution. Effectively calculating return on investment across channels and quantifying impact among Twitter’s leaned-in audience are critical to understanding performance in the digital landscape.”

Google Brand Solutions president Kirk Perry added: “Unilever is addressing one of the industry’s greatest challenges — the need to measure campaign performance in a uniform and consistent fashion. It’s an initiative well aligned with Google’s longstanding commitment to transparency, and we are pleased that the WFA has agreed to assume stewardship of the process.”

Kantar Media CEO for UK and Ireland Mark Inskip said: “Kantar are committed to working with advertisers and publishers to solve for a holistic cross media measurement solution that brings understanding of the audience to a campaign across paid, owned and earned media along with the impact on brand perception and sales performance”

Nielsen’s president of media Megan Clarken added: “Regardless of where you stand in the industry, having cross platform measurement is essential to driving monetisation and growth. We’re thrilled to provide Total Ad Ratings measurement of Unilever’s advertising across platforms and are proud to support its efforts to drive standardisation and adoption of cross media measurement.”

The holistic measurement system forms part of the ‘responsibility framework’ that the FMCG company launched in February last year.

One of the aspects of this framework was responsible infrastructure. While describing ‘responsible infrastructure’, the company said: “Unilever will only partner organisations committed to creating a better digital infrastructure and improving the consumer experience.

“This includes engagement around one measurement system, consumer data protection and infrastructure for managing key platform issues with third party verification implementation.”

The latest announcement ties into the one measurement system, a way of quantifiably gauging the cumulative impact various media have on consumer behaviour.

The pursuit of one measurement has been something of a holy grail for marketers over the past decade and a half, even as it has earned a fair share of critics who believe such a system is likely to do a disservice to the way consumers are impacted by different media.


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