News & Views

Lean Mean Fighting Machine, Unilever / One in Sixty

by Contagious Team

We talk to LMFM about donating one minute of agency time to a charity for every hour worked on Unilever

Independent London-based digital agency Lean Mean Fighting Machine (LMFM) has launched an initiative called One In Sixty that sees it donating a minute of agency time to charity Kids Company for every hour spent on its Unilever business. 

Kids Company was founded by Camila Batmanghelidjh in 1996 and provides emotional and practical support to vulnerable inner-city children. 

Contagious spoke with Tom Bazeley, founder and managing partner of LMFM, to find out more.

How did you come up with the concept of One in Sixty? 

We've been working on Unilever's margarine brands alongside Domestos, Dove, Wall's and Signal for about four years. Over that period, one massive thing for Unilever has been the USLP [Unilever Sustainable Living Plan]. They've figured out how to sell as many tubs of Flora and Knorr stock cubes as possible and found a way of doing it that can benefit the world at the same time. That's refreshingly honest and is 'doing well by doing good', which is a phrase used by the founding fathers of Unilever. We wondered if there was a way that we could use the same principle to incentivise our client, which happens to be one of the biggest fmcg companies in the world. We briefed that into our creative department and this was one of the ideas that came back. Our motivations are exactly like Unilever's in that we want to earn more money by diverting energy, budget and resource into doing something for a good cause. 

What made you choose Kids Company? 

We were drawn to Kids Company because it does good on our doorstep. We spent a day with them and went around their shelters. I've been living in London for many years and was completely utterly unaware of the appalling conditions in which some kids are brought up. Kids Company was open to the partnership and want to explore what creativity can do. 

Do you think other agencies working on Unilever accounts will follow suit? 

I hope so. That's what Marc [Mathieu, Unilever's senior vice president of marketing] was hoping when we presented it to Unilever earlier this week. It shows a bit of gumption for us as an agency and it will get people thinking about how we do business. As an agency, we're not the best at wining and dining clients and going about new business in a traditional way, so it's a good profile-raiser. 

Will you roll it out for other clients? 

We'll show it to other clients and say that it is for Unilever. But that's not to say we can't do it for others.