Unilever’s Helene Curtis Expands Comprehensive Marketing Pact With MSN

REDMOND, Wash., April 16, 2001 — Unilever today announced that its Hair Care business has selected the MSN® network of Internet services, with its 230 million unique users worldwide, to serve as lead Web partner in 2001 for Helene Curtis, maker of well-known hair-care brands ThermaSilk, Salon Selectives and Finesse.

Unilever cited customized MSN marketing solutions as the key driver behind the decision to expand its advertising relationship with MSN. Unilever’s marketing program on MSN, created in part by J. Walter Thompson’s digital@jwt/chicago group, will include content integration, an ad effectiveness research program, appealing cross-media sponsorships, MSN promotions and sampling programs.

“Working with MSN will not only build awareness with consumers and acquisition for our hair-care brands, but also will support our long-term objective of building a credible brand relationship with women online,”
said Andrew Gross, vice president of Hair at Unilever.
“MSN is at the forefront of the online advertising industry and has worked to develop innovative marketing solutions centered around our Helene Curtis brand name and our very popular Thermasilk, Salon Selectives and Finesse hair-care brands.”

Helene Curtis’ marketing program on MSN includes cross-media sponsorship with MSNBC, the No. 1 news site on the Web, and NBC’s top-rated morning news program,
“Today,” as well as interactive sponsorship on the Microsoft® WebTV® service and premier sponsorship of the Oscar® package on the MSN Entertainment channel. The program also will include four monthlong consumer sweepstakes on MSN WomenCentral.

Under the extended agreement, Helene Curtis also will supply fun consumer content and tools on MSN WomenCentral, where women can explore, learn and share online the latest and greatest hair tips. Features including the Hair Tip of the Day, content from celebrity stylist Richard Marin, and tools to find the hottest haircut matched to face shape and type will give MSN users access to the latest hair-care tips and trends, helping them look their best every day. This experiential interaction with women has already proven popular with members of the beauty media and consumers, largely because it enables all women online to access the Helene Curtis persona, a virtual girlfriend and hair expert.

“Advertisers are increasingly seeking out the leading technology and services of MSN. By anticipating our customers’ needs well before the industry does, the MSN Ad Effectiveness Research Program has helped our advertisers quantify how MSN affects their key branding measures,”
said Jed Savage, national director for MSN sales.
“We’re pleased that Unilever recognizes the value MSN delivers by understanding its marketing objectives and tailoring a comprehensive program that connects it with a highly engaged, targeted online audience.”

A primary reason for Helene Curtis’ expanded marketing commitment is that the MSN Ad Effectiveness Research Program gives advertisers more sophisticated methods to gauge success online through key measurements such as ad awareness, brand awareness and brand attitude across MSN. Helene Curtis and MSN will conduct three ad effectiveness studies to assess the impact of the expanded campaign, measuring the effect of the content integration, WebTV service sponsorship and cross-media sponsorship. The research will enable Helene Curtis to measure increases in brand awareness, purchase intent, and consumer acquisition and retention.

Top-line results of independent studies to date show that online advertising builds brand impact. Eighty percent of campaigns studied on MSN have generated greater ad awareness, and 50 percent of campaigns have generated increased brand awareness. In addition to quantifying a campaign’s success, the research is evaluated so changes in campaign elements can be recommended to enhance its effectiveness. For example, changing the frequency of a particularly successful
can help ensure that marketing objectives are met.

Further, the data shows frequency and creatives matter in successful online advertising campaigns. Greater exposure to advertisements means a greater impact on ad awareness and brand awareness, and therefore increases brand attitude. By enabling advertisers to gauge the effectiveness of their online ad campaigns, MSN provides its advertisers with valuable information, which in turn helps increase their brand equity.

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s largest consumer products companies with sales of $52 billion. It produces and markets a wide range of foods, home and personal care products. Unilever operates in 88 countries around the globe and employs 300,000 people.

In the United States, Unilever sales were $10 billion in 1999. It employs 38,000 people and has 104 offices and manufacturing sites in 27 states. Two of Unilever’s 12 global Business Groups are headquartered in the United States. Some of their major products are:

Unilever Home and Personal Care — North America: Wisk,
and Surf laundry detergents; Snuggle and Final Touch fabric softeners; Sunlight dish detergents; Lever 2000, Caress, Dove and Shield soaps; Pond’s and Vaseline skin care products; Pepsodent oral care products; Degree, Suave and Brut deodorant and toiletry products; Finesse, Salon Selectives, Suave, ThermaSilk, Aqua Net and Rave hair care products; and Calvin Klein, Nautica, Vera Wang and Elizabeth Arden cosmetic and fragrance products.

Foods — North America: Lipton teas, soups, recipe products and side dishes; Wish-Bone salad dressings; Lawry’s seasonings and specialty sauces; Imperial, Promise, Country Crock,
“I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!”
, Brummel & Brown spreads and sprays; Ragu pasta and pizza sauces; Five Brothers premium pasta sauces; Knorr soups, sauces and bouillons; Hellmann’s mayonnaise and dressings; Skippy peanut butter; Bertolli Olive Oil and Mazola oils; Entenmann’s, Thomas’ and Arnold baked goods; Klondike, Good-Humor, Popsicle, Breyers and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream products; Gorton’s frozen seafood products; and Slim-Fast nutritional and health snack products.

In addition, DiverseyLever, a global professional cleaning business, operates in North America, supplying professional cleaning materials and services to institutional and industrial markets.

About MSN

MSN gives consumers a new home on the Internet — a central place where they can get everything they need from the Web and make the most of their time online. With more than 230 million visitors per month, the MSN integrated network of content and services is the most popular destination on the Internet. MSN is available in 33 markets and in 17 languages — a broader global presence than any other network. MSN takes advantage of the Microsoft® .NET platform to offer leading services, any time, any place and on any device, with an integrated and personalized user experience for communications, search, shopping, personal finance and entertainment. MSN Internet Access and the recently introduced MSN Explorer offer quick, personal and exciting ways to get on to and take advantage of the Web. Best-of-breed services include the MSN Hotmail® Web-based e-mail service, the world’s largest Web-based e-mail system; MSN Messenger Service, one of the fastest growing instant messaging services on the Web; MSN Search, the second most popular online search service; MSN Mobile, the customizable wireless information service; the award-winning MSN MoneyCentral™
online personal finance guide; MSN eShop, the one-stop online shopping resource; and MSN Custom Web Sites, the easy way to share information on the Web. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com/ .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, MSN and WebTV are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

This agreement pertains to MSN in the United States only.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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