Geoff Craig

Geoff Craig

Geoff Craig

VP/GM, home and personal care, Unilever

Geoff Craig is unabashed about his love for award ceremonies. ‘Especially when we win!’ he jokes. And with award-winning brands such as Dove, Vim and Degree in his portfolio, it’s easy to understand why. The CPG giant’s offerings to the global Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, like the recent ‘Little Girls’ spot that ran during this year’s Superbowl game, continue to rack up accolades. And internally, he says, it helps to motivate staff by dangling the award carrot. ‘Our experience has demonstrated a strong linkage between awarded work and business success,’ he says. ‘Success begets success. This is why in a discussion we had [recently] I set the team’s sights with dead aim at a Titanium Lion award.’ Craig joined Unilever 14 years ago, starting as a brand manager on Lipton Soup. In addition to Dove, Vim and Degree, he also oversees Axe, Suave, Sunlight, Vaseline, Lever 2000 and Q-Tips.  

Pick #1

Campaign: Tim Hortons

‘Proud Father’

Agency: Enterprise Advertising

The concept: A father and son, of Asian decent, in the bleachers at a hockey arena reminisce about the son’s childhood and hockey over cups of Tim Hortons coffee.

Why do you like it?

What could be classified as schmaltz and wallpaper is a brand that sits at the top of this country’s most respected list. This is largely a function of leveraging real life Canadian vignettes and turning them into a ‘double double’ engaging story. ‘Proud Father’ is the latest and perhaps most effective one ever.

Why is it effective?

Tim’s is a brand that can stir up social and cultural issues and stereotypes. Mix in a little father/son latent bonding, add in a little shared sense of pride of one’s offspring, and this is a powerful piece of creative. In reality, we can all admit to solving one of life’s problems over a Tim’s.

What consumer insight has it tapped into?

As the tagline proclaims, every cup tells a story, and every story has built the brand. This story taps into the heart and soul of a Canada where, almost by definition, all relationships improve when hockey is involved.

Pick #2

Campaign: Ikea ‘It’s Not a Mistake’

Agency: Zig

The concept: A woman, who upon seeing the savings at the

check-out kiosk at Ikea, figures she’s all but committed a crime and makes a getaway.

Why do you like it?

I liked it because it made me chuckle in that fresh, quirky and offbeat Ikea kind of way. I am even willing to bet that sales went up over their last winter sale.

Why is it effective?

I continue to marvel at the seemingly endless wonderful, clever ideas that keep emerging from a store we all know about, and visit robotically. You can close your eyes and easily envision with exactness yet another voyage to Ikea. Yet remarkably this ad inspired me that perhaps a trip was overdue.

What consumer insight has it tapped into?

While clearly targeted to the shopaholic female, find a human who doesn’t believe that any deal that is too good to be true probably is – or maybe this is the one that breaks the rule! We all want a deal so good that it verges on illegal. As with most great ads, a wonderfully simple truth, executed flawlessly and with great casting.