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Unilever is 2015 Mobile Marketer of the Year

Unilever?s ability to consistently churn out viral videos, quickly move on emerging opportunities and enthusiastically look beyond the banner ad proves that it grasps how to effectively connect with mobile users in a way that few others do, which is why it is the 2015 Mobile Marketer of the Year.

Dove is one of Unilever?s biggest success stories on mobile, with the consumer packaged goods giant leveraging multiple social media platforms to support a brand image that resonates with women of all ages, encouraging even the most jaded to tap the ?share? button. Unilever?s mobile mastery extends across a number of brands, including Axe, Magnum, Tresemme, Wall?s and others. 

As mobile consumption of content reaches a critical level, Unilever clearly knows how to engage smartphone users with entertaining content that connects on an emotional level. 

Emojis emerge
The marketers? string of viral videos this year included one in advance of Father?s Day depicting men first learning their partners are pregnant while simultaneously promoting the Dove Men+Care line.

While numerous marketers jumped on the emoji bandwagon this year, Unilever puts its own spin on the trend when its research showed a need for greater diversity among female emoji characters. Dove?s emojis cater to women of all skin tones and hair colors, ranging from dark to light-skinned, alongside emojis with dark, light brown, blonde and red hair. 

Earlier in 2015, Dove teamed up with Twitter to encourage women to speak positively about themselves, following research finding that women are 50 percent more likely to make negative comments about themselves around the Oscars than the rest of the year.

As Unilever?s strategy for its Axe men?s personal care brand veers away from bawdy television ads, the company is also adeptly leveraging mobile to engage young men in a more organic manner. 

Repositioning Axe
This year, Unilever leveraged an in-store partnership with Walmart to attract Axe?s audience with relevant music downloads on mobile as a reward for purchasing products. 

The brand partnered with Duke University basketball player Justise Winslow on social media to tap into the excitement surrounding the National Basketball Association draft. 

Unilever also moved quickly to take advantage of emerging opportunities, such as jumping at a partnership with publishing brand Refinery29 for its Snapchat Discovery channel launch to target millennials for the Tresemmé, Dove and Axe brands. 

Reflecting how Unilever grasps the need for cross-channel experiences, a Unilever iBeacon program in Sweden blended an outdoor sampling truck with a mobile coupon. In another example, Tresemmé teamed with to offer styling tips while using mobile ads to drive users to its YouTube channel to watch hair tutorial videos.

Unilever?s ice cream brand Magnum saw significant success in driving local traffic to a store in Ecuador through a mobile banner campaign that leveraged location and interactivity to enable users to invent their own ice cream bars and pick them up. 

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York