Cannes Lions

A.I. Calls You Home for the Taste of Knorr

PHD, Hong kong / UNILEVER HONG KONG / 2019

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Overview

Background

With a global-leading average workweek of 50.1 hours, Hongkongers aren’t heading home for dinner. The result is a decline in home cooking and consequently, a decline in the usage of Knorr – a seasoning brand in Hong Kong.

This decline calls for a heartstring-tugging campaign by Knorr to remind Hongkongers to go home and savour the taste of home-cooking. Knorr’s new campaign, “The Irreplaceable Home Taste” thus featured the heart-warming story of a Hong Kong mom patiently waiting for her daughter that is working late to come home for dinner.

As the champion of home cooking, Knorr needed to find a way to bring the campaign to life: it needed a way to remind consumers to go home for dinner to increase consideration and usage of Knorr’s seasonings.

Idea

In search of a way to remind Hongkongers to go home and consume Knorr, we connected 3 consumer insights.

Firstly, consumers are becoming increasingly selective in their online media consumption with eMarketer survey data showing that 1-in-4 use adblockers. An opportunity lies in native advertising as consumers are more receptive to a seamless, non-disruptive ad experience.

Secondly, strict regulations in Hong Kong prohibit product placement on traditional TV. An opportunity lies in unregulated online TV which many Hongkongers use to catch-up on TV shows during commutes.

Lastly, with Nielsen’s research that ads placed within emotionally engaging content leads to higher ad recall and likeability, an opportunity lies in content integration on daily prime-time sitcom “Come Home Love: Lo And Behold” – a local favorite with strong family values. The popularity of the show reveals Hongkongers’ yearning for home, not to mention also being a perfect contextual fit for Knorr’s campaign.

Strategy

With these insights, it inspired the strategic direction of the campaign. Knorr needed to call Hongkongers home when they are yearning for home. We trigger consumers to go home by connecting with them when they are viewing “Come Home Love: Lo And Behold”. We do this though native product placement on online TV.

However, with the show filmed 48 hours before TV broadcast, it is not humanly possible to edit in Knorr’s products in time.

To resolve this, we turned to non-human help: innovative Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) In-Video Ad Insertion Technology – technology often used in Hollywood film production, to embed ads natively within TV programming in a fast, timely manner.

Through a two-way partnership with technology partner Mirriad and leading online TV channel myTV SUPER, Knorr used A.I. technology to embed ads natively within “Come Home Love: Lo And Behold” on myTV SUPER, a market-first undertaking in Hong Kong.

Execution

The A.I. technology operated in 3 steps:

1. A.I. USES VISION ALGORITHMS TO IDENTIFY, TAG & TRACK

Objects and locations are detected and identified using vision algorithms. They are continually tracked throughout the show.

2. A.I. ANALYSES AND SUGGESTS BEST AD LOCATIONS

A.I. analyses the visual data to identify suitable spots to place ads with respect to factors such as: prominence, visibility, and duration shown.

3. A.I. EMULATES SURROUNDINGS TO EMBED THE AD NATURALLY

A.I. embeds the ad into suitable spots and ensures that it matches the surroundings i.e. lighting, daypart, and shadow for a seamless, natural finish. Frequency caps are also automatically set to prevent overexposure within any specific scene as well as throughout the show.

A.I. continually repeats the process countless times across all scenes, allowing us to place our ads at highly engaging moments in the show – all done with the speed and execution of A.I.

Outcome

A.I. In-Video Ad Insertion Technology has helped Knorr’s new campaign “The Irreplaceable Home Taste” engage audiences at contextually-relevant moments of emotional engagement seamlessly. It successfully reminded Hongkongers to go home and use Knorr. A pop-up survey pre and post campaign was used to measure the effectiveness of the approach.

Knorr saw a 4% increase in top-of-mind brand awareness and became the top-of-mind seasoning brand in Hong Kong. With 9.6 million impressions delivered and 1st search rankings for selected terms, Knorr got Hongkongers thinking of home.

Knorr also drove a 6% increase in consideration to take the top spot from the leading and successfully its converted audiences to become fans of Knorr (leading brand dropped 8%). With a 21% increase in Click Through Rates and 4% increase in market share 1-month post-launch, Knorr convinced Hongkongers to start using Knorr at home.

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