Vice and Unilever have partnered to launch a new women’s focused content channel, Broadly.
The multi-year global partnership will see Unilever brands such as Dove and Vaseline sponsor and co-create content for the channel, which will exist on Vice’s own properties and also distributed elsewhere such as YouTube, Snapchat, and TV.
The editorial focus for Broadly will concentrate on women’s issues such as reproductive health, women in conflict zones, and workplace policy. The team currently has around 20 staff, led by former Jezebel writer Tracie Egan Morrissey.
Speaking to a small group of journalists on Tuesday at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Vice chief creative officer Eddy Moretti said the idea for the women’s channel came about after Broadly publisher Shannon Kelley and a team of about 30 women at Vice “knocked on the door one day and said: ‘There’s stuff happening here, there’s a shift in attitude about women’s issues. But there’s a void, a white space … there a lot of other sites based around reactionary commentary, wagging fingers at people saying or doing the wrong thing.”
Kelley said: “There is nothing like this out there. There is no video-driven content platform for women that speaks about the issues that matter to us.”
Keith Weed, Unilever’s chief marketing and sustainability officer explained that the partnership made sense for his brands because more than 70% of its sales come from women. But there’s also a wider goal: “60% of agricultural output comes from women, but they own just 1% of the land. There’s something fundamental as mankind and womenkind we need to address to have a sustainable society.”
In 2010 Unilever launched its Sustainable Living Plan, by which the company set to double the size of its business while reducing its environmental footprint and increasing its positive social impact.
Weed said: “We have a point of view: we want to make sustainable living commonplace, and only way u will do that is to engage people. One of arguments the sustainable movement gets caught up in is ‘why should I pay more for a product when people have done something they should have done anyway?'”
But Weed explained that sustainability is becoming a “tipping point;” one of the reasons a consumer might choose a product like tea over another brand. He said that he wants the Unilever logo to become an indicator that says “they have done their homework, they have tried a bit harder to make it a little bit better for society and the planet.”
He added: “What’s the business case for sustainability? I always say: ‘What’s the business case for the alternative? Destroying the planet? What’s the business case in that?”
This is not the first time Unilever has partnered with Vice. The publisher launched a website about sustainability issues last year, Collectively, which became a non-profit organisation in November. Collectively partners include Unilever, Coca-Cola, Google, Twitter, Nike, WPP McDonald’s, and Carlsberg.
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