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Who needs ad agencies? Unilever goes it alone with Peperami commercial

Unilever in the UK has chosen to use so-called ‘crowd-sourcing’ for its new commercial for the Peperami snack brand, putting the brief out to open competition and choosing a script by ad execs Kevin Baldwin and Rowland Davies.

Baldwin and Davies pick up a ‘prize’, or fee, of $10,000, somewhat less than Peperami’s last creative agency Lowe would have charged.

Unilever marketer Matt Burgess admits that cost was a factor; he claims the ad, which was shot by BPL marketing, cost “60 or 70 per cent less” than the norm, but says it wasn’t the only factor.

“Peperami is a small brand in Unilever terms which means that the fee-base structure of big agencies is quite a high percentage of what we put out there in marketing spend.

“It was also about going from good to great ads. It’s not a complicated brand…the (Peperami) Animal is so well-defined we have a responsibility to to try and do new things. It would have been much more difficult and risky to do this with a global brand.

“I am a little surprised at the reluctance of agencies to look at crowd-sourcing,” he adds. “They are the ones who should be taking hold and owning it.”

But then they’d charge a whopping great fee wouldn’t they Matt?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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