Using Relatable And Authentic Content To Market A Brand

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The Aromat Comedy Club is a YouTube series created by Unilever, Oliver, and the cream of South Africa’s rising comedy stars. 

When research indicated Aromat lacked traction among Millennials, Unilever turned to its on-site digital and creative agency, U-Studio – run by Oliver, to come up with an answer. What they created is the Aromat Comedy Club, which combines South Africa’s upcoming comedy and influencer talents for a fresh image of Aromat.

Giving Millennials a taste

‘We know our audience is accessible online all the time — sharing, creating and engaging with rich content,’ said Thobeka Mkhize, Aromat Brand Lead at Unilever. ‘Specifically, our audience is engaging with online comedy skits, so it was a natural fit for the brand as well.’ 

The campaign’s first season features seven local comedians: Mzee Mbuli, George Mnguni, Siyabulela Deli, Siphelele Cele, Bridget Mahlangu, Fash Ngobese, and Siviwe Lutseke. They were matched with themes chosen by the U-Studio team, touching on everyday scenarios that resonate with Millennials. 

Mbuli’s video is a funny take on ranting, where he plays a series of different characters sitting in the back of a rideshare car. Mahlangu created an elaborate episode where she and her mother had to speed-clean before an insufferable church gossip visited them. Lutseke sets up the worst blind date in history and Mnguni starts work as an intern only to get into a staff competition like no other!

Creativity empowered by Oliver

U-Studio decided on the topic for each skit based on the thorough understanding of Aromat’s market and the comedians’ style. The shared goal was a well-produced YouTube series of skits that were funny, relatable and authentic. But there wasn’t a necessity for micro-management from either the agency team or Unilever’s brand team. The forged relationship of trust, a result of Oliver’s model, was particularly useful for this campaign, as the comedians had considerable creative free reign, allowing their personalities to shine for Aromat.  

This synergy is evident when viewing the various skit videos. Despite no mandate to put Aromat in the videos, the comedians found creative ways to include the brand.  ‘We wanted to use upcoming talents and give them a platform to grow and co-create with one another,’ explained Nkululeko Vilakazi, Oliver’s Conceptual Copywriter for Aromat. ‘Our brief to the comedians wasn’t to create an Aromat-centric skit, but focus on interpreting the relatable topics. We are creating a platform for the comedians and helping them increase the production value of their skits.’ 

The first season’s videos have already gathered over 100,000 views each, and several are surpassing 200,000. The campaign shattered its subscriber growth and engagement benchmarks and catapulted Aromat’s YouTube channel as the biggest among the Unilever South Africa brands. There was also a marked rise in sales of the much-loved seasoning. The Aromat Comedy Club nails that crucial mark for advertising: marketing is not about branding or persuasion. It’s about good content that resonates with an audience. 

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