Unilever’s Global Media Lead on Branded Content, Big Data and Display

Predicts brands will take content marketing in house

Public relations firms and digital shops that are currently cashing in on branded editorial may want to think about finding new revenue sources. So suggested one Unilever exec today at Advertising Week in New York.

"I think you might see more community managers coming in-house," predicted Debbie Weinstein, global director of media for packaged-goods giant, when asked about the future of content marketing.

Weinstein, whose team was behind the viral hit Real Beauty Sketches for Dove, offered other admirably frank takes on the practice of storytelling in the digital age. More than anything, her statements show that even the most-successful marketers are still getting a grip on interactive.

Here are three more snippets worth repeating:

  • On how creatives really feel about digital display: "Display is still an underappreciated medium…It's slightly more exciting than a line of text in search [marketing]…[But] it's time we fall back in love with the canvas."
  • On parsing out the right stats from Big Data to move the business needle: "We haven't cracked it yet." (In fairness, it's likely that no company has.)
  • On newsrooms: "Not every brand needs one." Given that Weinstein oversees 400 products, she would have an unusually informed perspective on brands in the social media age. And it was refreshing to hear sober talk about a hot trend.