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Unilever will be the consumer goods-presenting advertiser on the new iAD platform unveiled by Steve Jobs at Apple’s Worldwide Developers conference in California.
The announcement follows hard on the heels of the return of virtually all of Unilever's top marketers from a visit to a host of major new media owners and developers on the West Coast of the U.S. last month. The Apple deal marks the first of many developments that are anticipated from the trip. Keith Weed, Unilever's chief marketing officer, who led the trip to the West Coast, said, "It's great to have been able to translate conversations from a month ago into concrete action so soon and to be at the forefront of something so innovative.
"Unilever has always been an innovator in advertising—from the first black-and-white and color advertising on U.K. TV, to Dove 'Evolution' being the first online ad to win the Lion d' Or at Cannes—and we are now leading marketing into the digital age, where the key will be to unlock the potential of mobile."
Fifty-five years on from airing the first ever television advertisement in the U.K. with Gibbs SR toothpaste, Dove for Men will be the first consumer product to be advertised on Apple's new platform in July, with a new ad specifically designed to be shown on Apple's suite of mobile devices. Dove for Men will be the first in a series of Unilever brands expected to run ads on the new platform.
Architect of the Apple deal, Babs Rangaiah, Unilever's vice president of global communications planning, said, "We know that 25% of the world is online now, but the next 75% will mostly get online via mobile—and mostly in D&E markets. This partnership will offer us the ability to work within what we believe will be the future of the mobile Internet—apps."