Unilever Launches Emotionally Charged Project Sunlight Campaign

20.11.2013 by Eddie Tomalin
Unilever pulls on the heartstrings and hurls consumers through an emotional rollercoaster

Why bring a child into this world? It’s a question everyone who has thought or is thinking about becoming parent has asked themselves at one time.

The world, as we know, can be an unforgiving place, filled with the terrors of war and the desperation of disease and poverty.

Using some of the best elements of Unilever’s previous social video campaigns, Why Bring A Child Into This World?, tackles this question head on in an inspiring new ad campaign.

Set to a beautiful instrumental version of the Pixies’ 1988 smash “Where is My Mind”,  the ad is an emotional rollercoaster, first asking parents to consider why they are bringing a child into the world and then highlighting some of the terrible challenges society still faces.

The video is to mark the launch of Unilever’s Project Sunlight on Universal Children’s Day, in which the global brand will be helping 2 million children across the world through its ongoing partnerships. These include providing school meals through the World Food Programme, supporting Save the Children to provide clean, safe drinking water and improved hygiene through UNICEF.

The campaign is designed to appeal to people across the globe, and in particular parents, encouraging them to join what Unilever sees as a growing community of people who want the world to be a better place.

But will it succeed? And how well will the ad perform? Well, only time will tell, but I think it’s safe to say you can expect the tears of parents across the globe to be driving this ad up the Unruly Viral Video Chart.

Directed by Oscar-winning director Errol Morris, the heartwarming video deploys emotional triggers by the bucket load to not only set off the prenatal parents featured in the ad, but no doubt viewers across the world.

Clearly inspired by the success of the Dove Real Beauty Sketches ad, this spot provokes consumers to think differently about the world by imparting knowledge and making consumers feel enlightened.

Overall, it inspires viewers by making them feel proud of the human spirit, giving parents hope for the future and leaving the viewer to walk away feeling increasingly positive about mankind.

Unilever’s commitment to its corporate social responsibility efforts are clear throughout the ad and it follows on neatly from its Lifebuoy series.

It’s also a clip which will have parents, particularly the influential mums, sharing the video because they want their friends to feel the emotions which the ad stirred in them. In fact, the project has been informed by Unilever’s own consumer insight, which shows that children are key to motivating adults to want to adopt more sustainable lifestyles and are a powerful influence on parents changing their behaviour. Nine out of 10 parents say children’s natural optimism and enthusiasm inspires them to make the world a better place.

Unilever has been careful to select responses which resonate globally, avoiding the use of humour which can vary from one culture to another, and instead using a melting pot of inspiration, sadness, warmth and knowledge to generate sharing.

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