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Helena Mcaleer
Helena Mcaleer 9 October 2015
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An Interview with Jeremy Basset, Unilever Foundry

Jeremy Basset, Head of Unilever Foundry, the platform used to connect and engage start-ups speaks to Digital Doughnut about how the foundry helps and inspires start-ups ahead of Inspiration 2015.

Jeremy Basset, Head of Unilever Foundry, the platform used to connect and engage start-ups speaks to Digital Doughnut about how the foundry helps and inspires start-ups ahead of Inspiration 2015.

 



Who Are You?
My name is Jeremy Basset and I’m head of the Unilever Foundry. The Unilever Foundry is our platform to connect and engage with start-ups. As the world’s second biggest advertiser, we’re seeing that start-ups are pioneering the future of marketing and we want to connect with them, and so through the Foundry we enable our brands and start-ups to come together to pilot and then to partner.

 

What Inspires You And Where Do You Look For Inspiration?
For me, inspiration comes from anywhere, but we’re particularly seeing a lot of inspiration coming from the start-up landscape. Every day we see start-ups coming across our desk, pitching ideas that we didn’t even know we needed solutions to. I find that incredibly inspiring and it really gets creative ideas flowing very, very quickly.

 

How Do You Turn Ideas Into Reality?
The way that we take ideas and turn them into reality is through collaborating with the pioneers. We put a challenge on our website, we invite anyone in the world to apply against that and then what we do is we work out who we want to help solve that challenge with us. Then we work very quickly to turn that idea into a pilot, which hopefully succeeds and turns into a long term partnership. It’s through this mechanism that we’re not only making ideas reality, but we’re also helping start-ups to scale up and we’re also bringing transformative an pioneering tech to our brands and to our consumers.

 

Can You Talk Us Through An Idea From Inspiration to Realisation?
One example of turning ideas into reality through partnerships is with the Lynx AXE brand, the male body spray. Lynx, wanted a solution to connect with guys in a more understated way and what we came back with was this idea of Sofar Sounds. Sofar Sounds is an existing company that puts on gigs in living rooms. If you’re after an activity to do on a Friday night and you want to go to a gig, sign up to Sofar Sounds and it’s a great opportunity for you to enjoy some fantastic music in a much more intimate setting than what you’d otherwise get the opportunity to experience. It was a great fit for the brand. It was a great fit for the start-up and what we’re now doing is starting to roll it out across multiple countries and multiple cities, engaging guys all around the world around Sofar Sounds.

 

What Are You Going To Talk About At Inspiration?
I’m really looking forward to being part of Inspiration this year. What we’ll be exploring in the Unilever Foundry session is how you can take collaboration and use that to fuel your creativity. We will be exploring how, through the Unilever Foundry we’re working with start-ups, partnering them with brands and bringing creativity to our brands in a way that we’ve never been able to do before and scale it. We’ve got lots of lessons. I’m looking forward to learning from you as well and sharing experiences around this. We’ll see you there.

 

Hear Jeremy speak at Inspiration 2015, book your place now:

 

 

 

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