Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

Published in Sep-Oct 2020

Cleaning Homes the Unilever Way

Unilever launches Cleanipedia in the fight against Covid-19.
Photo: Cleanipedia Instagram
Photo: Cleanipedia Instagram

Along with learning how to WFH with dozens of distractions, including baking banana bread and making TikTok videos about being “bored in the house, bored in the house, bored”, Pakistanis are learning how to clean with the help of Unilever’s global content marketing platform Cleanipedia, which provides expert hacks for cleaning living spaces, household items and more.

As the spread of Covid-19 increased and fear of contracting the virus through different surfaces surged, people took to thorough cleaning measures and bought more cleaning supplies than usual. In fact, according to Aurora’s Covid-19 Consumer Behaviour Survey (May- July 2020), post Covid-19, 49.8% of consumers were spending more on household cleaning products than ever before. With this increased involvement in household cleaning products, Unilever took the opportunity to launch Cleanipedia in Pakistan in May (the platform already exists in more than 20 countries worldwide). Available on Facebook and Instagram, it provides tips and hacks on how to keep one’s home clean and Covid-19 safe. Users access the Cleanipedia platform via articles (Facebook) or visual snippets (Instagram). If users want tips that are not mentioned on the social media platforms or have further questions, they can direct message the Cleanipedia team and get immediate responses.

Tooba Diwan, ABM Homecare, Unilever, says, “We launched Cleanipedia differently in Pakistan compared to other countries, because abroad people usually do their own chores whereas in Pakistan we are dependent on part-time or full-time help. When Covid-19 broke, many people started to do household chores themselves for the first time and we took advantage of this change in behaviour.”

Butool Rizvi, Marketing Manager, Home Care, Unilever adds: “Surprisingly, a lot of Millennials also engaged in chores for the first time and we felt this was the perfect time to provide content on simplified household tips. The best part is that these tips are for everyone – not just women – which encourages other family members to participate.”

The challenge however, according to Diwan, was to make cleaning seem “easier and more exciting” rather than boring, and the objective was not on “pushing products,” but rather building credibility by establishing the platform as a “friendly, next-door cleaning expert” that provides fun, well-researched and vetted content. This said, Unilever products are advertised on the Cleanipedia pages and although the content itself does not specifically refer to them, there is a ‘buy now’ option available.

“Content is king for us. The idea is to provide advice people can easily integrate in their daily lives (such as ‘how to prepare your home for a virus outbreak’ or ‘how to remove glue from clothes’). Social media is usually a break from reality for most people, so the question was why would anyone want to view content related to home care products and by extension mundane chores?” says Diwan, adding that the content has been further localised and is now published in English and Urdu.

To kick off the launch, the content was disseminated through “Cleanfluencers,” on Instagram. “We looked at the content provided by various influencers’ and assessed whether they would be a good fit for promoting Cleanipedia.” Eventually, Unilever partnered with influencers such as ‘travelling couple’ Amtul Baweja and Fahad Tariq Khan (Patangeer), Humna Raza and ‘Baji Blogger’ Mahwish Ahmad. These ‘Cleanfluencers’ disseminated information on basic cleaning hacks and directed their followers to Cleanipedia Pakistan, with humorous posts emphasising how the platform helped them reach expert-level cleaning.

Diwan says that given the initiative only kicked off two months ago, they are still building information about their target audience. “We are continuously monitoring what kind of audience responds and intertwining those findings in our database.”

Now that the lockdown has eased, Unilever is changing Cleanipedia’s tonality and content to cater to changing trends. “As and when the platform grows, we will keep adding more, but always relevant to home care, which is the primary focus. Going forward, we want to keep providing relevant tips and tricks about making household chores easier as they take up a bigger chunk of our daily lives. Our aim is awareness rather than sales.”