Unilever dances to a different tune in Quebec

Unilever promotes shampoos with EDM, local influencers and Jean Coutu.

unilever-imageUnilever has young Quebecers in its crosshairs as it tempts music festival fans with a multi-brand haircare campaign. The program showcases Unilever’s Dove, TRESemmé, Love Beauty & Planet, Nexxus and Alberto lines in a content and contest play that gets a social push from Quebec Instagram influencers, and an in-store boost from teaming up with Jean Coutu.

From June 13th to 27th Air Miles cardholders at all Jean Coutu locations who buy a Unilever shampoo brand get a chance to win gold access passes to ÎLESONIQ, an electronic dance music festival taking place August 9 and 10 in Montreal. According to Dominic Prigent, Unilever’s shopper marketing manager, ÎLESONIQ is a fitting brand partner as the electronic music subculture is multifaceted, and increasingly becoming associated with fashion and hairstyles.

He said that the campaign idea coalesced when he did his own little marketing study at Montreal’s weekly Picnic Electronik EDM festival, and noticed a lot of individuality when it came to the subculture’s style. He figured a larger scale partnership with ÎLESONIQ tapping into the music scene’s style trends would be a good way to unite all Unilever’s hair brands under one umbrella.

Unilever’s brands cater to different needs, he says, and yet each mass brand has a slightly different story that can appeal to a diverse festival crowed. He cites Love Beauty & Planet, as an example of a green-perceived brand that resonates, as well as “Between Washes” from TRESemmé, a quick-fix hairstyling product meant for twentysomethings on the go. The campaign, developed by Bob, revolves around three influencers and real-life friends, each with her own particular hair needs and styles, creating a story platform to convey the properties and benefits of each product range.

“When it comes to use of influencers on the path of purchase, we are trying to be where our target is,” Prigent says, and to give them an authentically Quebec voice.


On the retail front, campaign flyers are distributed in Publisacs and are available on apps such as Flipp as well as in store and at jeancoutu.com. In 300 Jean Coutu stores, LED displays on windows will announce the offers. Prigent adds that in-store visibility includes an endcap with a header, plus shelf talkers and danglers in aisles.

When it comes to the Air Miles component of the partnership, Prigent says they simplify the mechanics of the contest, making it easier to scan and gather consumer insights. According to Prigent, for the retailer, it is about setting them apart from the competition, and reinforcing their position in the market.

When asked about his approach to shopper marketing, Prigent considers it “the science of leveraging insights and applying them with art along the path to purchase, so it resonates with shoppers and influences their purchase behavior.”

And in the case of Gen Z Quebecers, Prigent says “I wanted a campaign relevant to Quebec, authentic to Quebec, and also one that resonated with my target,” rather than one that was adapted for Quebec. Plus, he jokes, “We had a tough winter, and Quebecers are coming out of hibernation.”