Filmmmaker Ryoko Kawanishi has been announced as the winner of the 2010 London Film Festival’s Unilever Video Contest. Ryoko’s film “The Melody of Skin” promoting Vaseline, was selected from a shortlist of 13 submissions each promoting a different Unilever brand and received its premier viewing at the festival on October 25th. The film will be incorporated into Unilever’s latest campaign for the famous brand of petroleum jelly.
The contest was announced back in April as a joint venture between Unilever and the film competition board MOFILM. From the 10,000+ briefs and submissions that were uploaded, 13 were shortlisted for consideration at this year’s 54th BFI London Film Festival. The Panel of judges appointed to review all 13 entries consisted of a mix of experts from film, marketing, and advertising industries. Among the list were short films for Axe (a Lynx deodorant variant), Dove soap, Sunsilk hair products, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and Surf washing powder. As the winner, Ryoko’s entry received its premier during the festival as well as a cash prize of £7,000 (~$11,000 US).
Keith Weed, Unilever’s chief marketing and communications officer stated that the purpose of the Unilever Consumer Creative Challenge was to connect with its consumers by encouraging them to participate in the campaigns and inspire the filmmaker within. The company has already enjoyed success from crowdsourced campaigns in the UK with its snack food Pepperami Bites and the Dove Men Care Range in the US.
We were hugely impressed by the quality of the entries we received. All of our 13 winning entries, especially the grand prize-winning film, tell our brands’ stories in engaging and imaginative new ways
The film stands at over four and a half minutes long, parts of which will be featured in the new campaign due to be launched shortly. It also signifies that Unilever has moved on from what they had perceived as an unknown entity to taking the idea of crowdsourcing their products seriously, effectively replacing the traditional model of marketing.