Consumer products giant Unilever has signed separate agreements with Microsoft and AOL to create groundbreaking consumer marketing campaigns on the Internet.
Under the agreements, which will initially run for three years, Microsoft and AOL will independently create interactive marketing and new media for Unilever?s key brands, namely Lipton teas, Ragu sauces and Dove soap. The programme will kick off in North America, but it is anticipated that it will become global within months, a Unilever representative told VNU Newswire.
Analysts believe the agreements will give Unilever a head start in effectively using new media to better understand consumer needs. Unilever plans to work with AOL, the largest internet online service with more than 12 million member households and nearly 20 million adult users, on developing innovative Web advertising. Unilever will also have a big advertising presence across the Microsoft Network of Online Services.
Robert Phillips, president of Unilever Home and Personal Care, said: "None of us truly knows how the Internet will change the manner in which consumer goods companies communicate with consumers, because this technology is being developed so rapidly. However, we expect that as a result of these alliances, over one billion impressions for our brands will be viewed on the Internet by consumers over the next three years.?
According to Richard Goldstein, president and chief executive officer of Unilever US, consumers will decide how they want to communicate using new media ?and we intend to understand that process better than anyone else,? he said.
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