Rexona backs branded content fitness platform with Adam Goodes

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 14 October 2014

Unilever is launching a Rexona-branded fitness platform designed to help Aussies stay fit and healthy, as part of its corporate effort to bring purpose to its brands and “transcend products”.

The 'I Will Do' platform was developed by The Works to offer a way for Australians to stay motivated to reach fitness goals.

The FMCG brand is working with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the move is being fronted by Sydney Swans star and Australian of the Year Adam Goodes.

Jon McCarthy, marketing director for deodorants and male grooming at Unilever, told AdNews that the program “transcends the product as a deodorant. It's a service as much as anything. The brand is implicitly there, but we've partnered with experts to give it depth.

“As tech and media channels evolve the way we connect and reach people evolves as well. It's an iconic brand in Australia and has a lot of heritage. It's another way of looking at [branding]. If people like what we do and what we stand for I would hope that as a result awarenesses, equity and sales will grow. It's input and output, but it's not an overt sales push.”

Unilever cites research that claims 89% of people want to be fitter than they are, but only one in five Australians who set fitness goals go on to achieve them. So while people are willing, they don't seem to follow through.

Australians can set public goals and tap into the platform’s branded advice and tips. They will also will be served content, including nutritional, psychological and performance advice, endorsed by the AIS, relevant to their own goals.

Rexona has also worked with rally car driver Molly Taylor and BMX World Cup champion Caroline Buchanan, who will also contribute content to the platform to help keep people motivated.

The Works created more than 300 pieces of content including motivational videos for runners, cyclists and swimmers.  

The platform is an ongoing initiative that McCarthy said will “evolve” over time with additional features added and content created alongside the brand's broader marketing strategy.

“As the service evolves, the way I think about it is not compartmentalising between ATL and BTL, it's a service and were using the most relevant channels to deliver that,” he said.

“We're thinking of it like Google: 'always in beta'. We've not done it before so we have no idea how people will engage and interact with the platform. It will grow over time, but it's in our interest the more people set goals, the more active they are.”

It has also created a video starring Goodes to launch the initiative.

People already use a multitude of fitness and goal setting apps, so what makes the brand think that it can attract those users to a branded platform.

Unilever is aware of the competition in the market. How it attracts users to the new branded platform has been key to the launch.

Paul Swann, creative partner at The Works says: “That's a question we asked ourselves – how do we offer something extra with a unique point of view? We're very aware of the multitude of products and techs that do that. The approach we took is engaging with partners that would allow [Rexona] to take the high ground - like the AIS where Olympians train - and have access to that knowledge and resource at the leading edge of performance and achievement. Having people like Adam Goodes on board also helps bring a level of credibility and expertise.”

Rexona is also looking to partner with other fitness apps, as McCarthy said the brand recognises that “it can't be closed” with an initiative like this and has to appreciate that people won't just use one app, or adopt the branded platform as a "be all and end all, one stop shop”.

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