Unilever’s channel road block: smart or not?

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Unilever India recently took a road-block on the Star & Zee Networks for an entire day – all the ads on these channels were for brands from the Unilever stable. According to some reports, this was seen as a ‘perplexing move’ as there was no ‘new news’ or re-launch that was linked to these roadblocks. The last time such a road block happened was for Vodafone India’s name change from Hutch.

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I am sure many theories abound in marketing & media circles on the reasons, merits and de-merits of such a move. In my view, it’s a smart move. Consumers are surely aware of all the brands in the Unilever stable. Almost everyone of them is a household name. But seeing every brand and only those brands, each signed off with the company signature gives it a larger than life image. It also conveys a leadership stance to consumers and competition alike. Savvy advertisers like Unilever don’t take such steps unless they are sure of the returns. What say?

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