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Purpose: Not just what we say, but what we do

Beauty with Purpose Showcase

women panel Lifebuoy microphone talk

On 23 – 25 July 2019, Unilever Beauty and Personal Care South Africa, hosted our first ever Beauty with Purpose Showcase on South African soil in Durban, our home ground. During the three days, we took key industry partners, influencers and collaborators on a journey demonstrating how in everything we do, we’re driven by our passionate mission to care for people, society and our planet in equal measure.

Through this Showcase, we aimed to create a truly unique experience for our content partners and to fully immerse them in our brands through interactive sessions, learning first-hand about Unilever product innovations and our core purpose.

Being part of the Unilever family, we understand that purpose is central to our business approach, and we have also seen first-hand, how brands with purpose grow, companies with purpose last, and people with purpose thrive. But our Unilever ‘purpose’ doesn’t end with just talk, but rather is coupled with change. Our mission is to be the pioneers of purposeful change, through our brands, our voice and actions, and we believe that through the three day Showcase we were able to bring this to life, a milestone we can all be proud of.

Building these relationships with influencer partners is important to building strong, long-term partnerships, and to ensure success of the marketing efforts that are in collaboration with these content creators. This first-of-its-kind Showcase also provides an opportunity for Unilever Beauty and Personal Care to establish itself as the leader within the industry by positioning it as a purpose-driven market leader, and innovator driven to positively impact people, society and our planet.

The Showcase started off with a welcome from Tony Mun-Gavin, Marketing Director, Beauty and Personal Care, followed by a “Beauty Tuned In” Trends session. Dove Masterbrand then showcased their latest innovation, the Nourishing Secrets range inspired by beauty rituals from women all over the world, while a panel unpacked the issue of representation of women in the media, focussing on Project #ShowUs, through a robust discussion with thought leaders.

The panellists that took part in the conversation where representatives from the media industry, photographers from the campaign itself, as well as an educational psychologist, who passionately tackled this topic together. Project #ShowUs, an initiative by Dove, together with Girl Gaze, Getty Images, and women everywhere, is aimed at creating the world’s largest photo library created by women and non-binary individuals to shatter beauty stereotypes, and guests in attendance were led by the panel members to share their own #ShowUs calls to action by spending some time reflecting and writing down their messages on personalised frames.

lifebuoy group shot happy fabulous

Lifebuoy highlighted the importance of how a simple act of handwashing with soap saves lives, and how their partnership with the Department of Basic Education is positively impacting 15 000 schools each year through the National Schools Programme. Our very own Lifebuoy ambassador, DJ Zinhle, was also there to weigh in on how good hygiene habits are important to her, and how she has instilled this in her life.

In celebration of Unilever’s commitment to ensuring sustainable living becomes more commonplace, we hosted a zero-waste Purpose Dinner on Wednesday evening. Our MC for the night was LUX alumni and UNICEF ambassador Jo-Ann Strauss, who facilitated the dinner, masterfully piecing together topics brought to life by the various speakers.

The topics included the Unilever Beauty and Personal Care division’s approach to purpose and sustainability, as well as how the five-year partnership with the Department of Basic Education, through the National Schools Hygiene Programme, is designed to help kids stay healthy and get a better education, by avoiding the kinds of preventable infections that too often mean they miss school.

Taking learnings from our global counterparts who have in the past hosted a Showcase of this stature, we can without fail, say that the Showcase was a success, with both traditional and social media abuzz with engagement from content shared by our influencer and media partners from the various sessions.

Some of the coverage highlights include:

  • This is a first of its kind in Africa, a milestone Unilever can be proud of
  • An overall attendance of 100 influencers and media came to share in the Showcase spectacle
  • Through the #BeautyWithPurpose, we reached 999 total mentions over the last 10 days, from the first day of the Showcase
  • #BeautyWithPurpose was the number one trending topic in Durban over the three days
  • #BeautyWithPurpose was also amongst the Top 3 trending topics in Johannesburg and all of South Africa, in intervals.
  • 715 unique authors were engaged in the conversation
  • The trending topics included the following as part of the #BeautyWithPurpose event; vision of beauty as well as the #FreeToLove story, which was an art gallery collaboration session with Trevor Stuurman
  • From a traditional media coverage perspective, the event was featured in The Sowetan Live and IOL and has so far provided a PR value of over R2 million across online and print platforms, with expected coverage in the pipeline.

The #BeautyWithPurpose Showcase was not just about our brands, but about what we as a global organisation can do to make real local impact. And we can only achieve this through the continuous and strategic collaboration with partners who share our vision, because it’s in acting collectively that we continue to affect change in society.

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