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Why is this work relevant for Media?

Consumers today are brand polygamists & contrary to popular belief are fairly similar despite data segmentation efforts by advertisers. While getting too targeted, reinforces people who love your brands to use more, there is only so many times someone can brush their teeth/day.

Thus, mass physical & mental availability of brands becomes crucial to be able to gain business growth from Heavy-Medium-Light Users of brands alike.

De Villiers is a planning process devised to maximize Media Reach in Brand/Category Penetrated Households. This enabled Unilever India reach 2-19% higher Brand Pen. Households at no incremental cost across brands in 2018


India is a complex market comprising of 20 different market definitions, all distinct in terms of *language, media consumption, cost of media operations etc., Hence, Unilever approaches Marketing through a principle of “Winning in Many India’s”. This approach emphasises the need to account for the nuances for each sub-market in planning a larger strategy.

Our brief was to bring this philosophy alive in Media Planning and Deployment thereby, driving business growth.

The objective was to be continuous for significant impact on business growth, while staying relevant in the context of various brands within the Unilever portfolio across-Personal Care, Home Care and F&R categories. There was also the need to keep in mind the implication of market dynamics on the planning & buying KPIs of the agency.

Describe the creative idea/insights

Brand Growth Hypothesis: Our first insight came from identifying the key driver of brand growth w.r.t media deployment - Brands show a higher growth when reach in brand/category penetrated households is prioritized. This lead to a critical step of identifying the right source of growth to prioritise budget allocation to sub-geographies accordingly.

Media Units: The next crucial step was Identifying the right TA X Media X Sub-Geography

(20 different markets) cuts, keeping in mind Viewing habits, availability of measurement across media & crucial brand metrics. This was critical for delivering the optimum media mix.

Project De Villiers thus,is a budget optimization process, that considers key factors influencing business:

-Brands source of growth

-Media market dynamics*

-Brand-Campaign Budget

-Target Audience

This helps deliver more efficient customised media mixes basis a brands individual requirement

To ease the process & avoid manual biases De Villiers is automated in the form of a tool

Describe the strategy

Firstly, we built a market prioritization module that enabled allocation of monies to the ideal source of growth. For this we worked extensively with Unilever India to map brand specific objectives

The second step was to build a non-linear optimiser into De Villiers that optimised basis cost/incremental Reach (at micro increments of budget). India specific complex inputs & control variables have been incorporated into De Villiers to enable multi-market optimisation capabilities. Reach, Cost and Slope (of the reach curve by medium) for each Gender X Age X Market X Medium X Market combination, allows optimisation of vehicle choices at brand level granularity. Actual & Modelled reach curves are fused to simulate dynamic slopes.

Negative Exponential Dual Parameter- Reach = a_i * { 1-exp?(-1*Spend/((CPRP*ßi)))}

De Villiers optimises multimedia Reach @1+, simulating incremental Reach at lowest Cost/Reach across mediums by using an extensive and robust data set.

Describe the execution

In terms of media data inputs, we worked closely with platforms like Facebook, Google & independent measurement agencies like Kantar, Nielsen BARC (TV), IRS (Print & Radio), RAPPORT (OOH) and other partners to accurately define inputs to model the reach curve etc. for every TG X Market X Medium combination such that each market has a unique build up and can accurately predicts plan outputs to mirror actual deployable plans

Media Planners use De Villiers to build 100+ Unilever Brand-campaigns on a monthly basis, with the most optimum media mix in context of the brand’s source of growth & budget.

It is an iterative planning process that enable reduction in Cost per Reach through intermarket optimization, enabling increase in Brand/Category Penetrated Households at an All India level (roll up of 20 markets).

The tool is dynamic & is refreshed every quarter with latest data & measurement parameters availability in India

List the results

1. In 2018 the market prioritisation module enabled upto 19% incremental Reach in Brand Penetrated Households at equal or lesser budgets vs. 2017

2. The tool’s ability to maximize reach through efficient sub-geography level media choices (market X media mix optimization) has delivered upwards of 8% Cost Per Reach, Return on Media Investment, one of our key deliverables to Unilever India

? e.g. In 2018 Fair & Lovely a personal care brand delivered 6% incremental Reach in Brand Penetrated Households vs. 2017, with a decremental investment of 4% just by, reprioritizing investments (across markets) & optimisation using De Villiers

Adherence to De Villiers was identified as a key pillar of media contribution to business by the

Unilever India media team to the Unilever Management Committee.

It is seldom that media is credited with direct brand growth impact

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