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Olly Launches First Campaign Under Unilever as Brand Expands Globally

Ad Age

January 06, 2020

By Jack Neff

Besides free Ben & Jerry’s, the other big change under Unilever is expansion to Asia, says CEO Eric Ryan.

Olly today breaks its first ad campaign since being acquired last year by Unilever, part of an effort that signals the brand’s growing global ambitions as it expands into Singapore, China and South Korea.

In some ways, not much has changed since Unilever bought Olly in April. The new campaign comes from the five-year-old brand’s longtime creative agency Yard NYC, which survived the jump to join the roster of the global packaged goods behemoth. Olly co-founder Eric Ryan remains CEO of Olly, albeit with a carve-out that lets him also work on strategy as co-founder of his even newer independent brand Welly, a first-aid brand developed at the behest of Target Chairman-CEO Brian Cornell last year, according to Ryan.

“Really the only changes [under Unilever] are we now have a name-tag machine in the lobby for visitors, and we have free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, which is a promise I made when I announced the deal,” Ryan says.

The new set of four 15-second ads on Olly’s Beauty, Energy, Sleep and Stress gummy supplement collections are meant to further Olly’s appeal to millennials and others by breaking through the mind-numbing complexity of the vitamin aisle. The “Happy Inside Out” campaign is a somewhat surreal trip inside the world of Olly bottles, which will play out across digital video, over-the-top and out-of-home placements.

While Olly hasn’t changed in the U.S., acquisition by Unilever has helped fuel one big change—a move into Asian markets, including China in March. “As we were shooting this campaign, we were definitely shooting it with a global eye,” says Ryan, who is set to talk about Olly at the Ad Age Next: Health & Wellness conference in February in New York.