RB Signs Nine-Figure Global Deal With Facebook To 'Move Away From Advertising'

Facebook and health and hygiene brand RB are entering into a multiyear, nine-figure global partnership that will integrate members of their global sales, marketing and creative teams and co-create new brand engagement opportunities. 

The overarching premise is that RB (formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser) will leverage Facebook as a media channel to help drive sales, achieve broad reach and increase brand loyalty. Facebook will help with the development of RB’s media plans and creative campaigns.

"This is not about advertising, but rather about collaboration to drive growth for RB brands and engagement on Facebook," says a RB spokesperson. "It also focuses on campaign development and talent -- two things one doesn’t typically see with a traditional advertising campaign or corporate sponsorship. RB wants to partner with Facebook to help us connect with our customers and grow our business in several countries around the world."



The partnership will work together initially in the U.S., UK, Canada, Italy, Brazil, India and Australia. The companies have been discussing how this deal might take shape for two years. RB and Facebook have worked together on more than 100 campaigns globally over the past few years, and this partnership grew organically from these collaborations, per the companies.

Now, Facebook and RB will work closely to establish new priorities for RB brands, which include Lysol, Air Wick, and Mucinex, as well as develop measurement goals and an improved, more efficient infrastructure for executing campaigns and other messaging. RB will also benefit from Facebook’s resources and people on global, regional and local levels -- including in the U.S., UK, Canada, Brazil, India, Italy and Australia. 

At the same time, this partnership will likely establish new priorities for both brands as they combine employees across the two companies’ global sales, marketing and creative teams. To that end, RB and Facebook will work closely in developing the next generation of leaders within RB by participating in joint recruitment events, marketing/education conferences, award development and CSR-related online programs. In addition, RB and Facebook will hold joint recruiting events at universities.

"Consumers sit at the heart of this relationship. We are really excited to be working so closely with Facebook to engage with consumers in a relevant and meaningful way. This is a true global partnership, and I have been delighted by what RB and Facebook have been able to accomplish across so many markets," says Heather Allen, RB EVP, Category Development. 

Overall, the notion of bringing such two innovative companies together was a very attractive proposition for both RB and Facebook. 

"It is a privilege that we get to work so closely with RB leadership, who are challenging the status quo in marketing. The team is willing to make significant moves to drive personal marketing at scale, thereby building their brands with consumers and growing their business in markets around the world," said Carolyn Everson, VP of Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook. "Our people, our principles, and our missions are aligned. Given our successes together to date, we are absolutely clear on the wider and far reaching benefits of this partnership. In 2013, we laid the ground work. This year, we are implementing a radical new way of working together. And, by 2015, we will have uncovered even more innovative ways of driving our businesses together."

6 comments about "RB Signs Nine-Figure Global Deal With Facebook To 'Move Away From Advertising'".
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  1. William Hodges from Tiny Circle LLC, August 4, 2014 at 5:39 p.m.

    How's that not advertising? Sounds just like advertising on one medium. Which is fine, but it's not a move away from advertising. Why is everyone in such a rush to redefine it?

  2. Marcelo Salup from Iffective LLC, August 5, 2014 at 9:06 a.m.

    One thing that is missing from here is the actual figure as a % of their global marketing (not advertising, of course) spend. Without it, the article just comes across as a fuzzy new-age-y kind of thing.

    Given that they have worked on campaigns before, I assume that the metrics are in place. However, if the deal is 10% of RB's global spend, that is one really laudable effort; if the deal is 90% of RB's global spend then it seems like an unacceptable risk (from the point of view of shareholders) as it could just as well ruin the company.

  3. Kevin Horne from Verizon, August 5, 2014 at 10:56 a.m.

    A bigger story is how a renowned brand dumbs it down to "RB" and expects to stay relevant....

  4. Marcelo Salup from Iffective LLC, August 5, 2014 at 11:08 a.m.

    @Kevin - though your snarky comment probably got your rocks off... it is completely off the mark. In those categories people tend to buy solutions to specific problems, not a brand. I worked on the SCJ account for years and every single research study would show that people would buy primarily Raid, or Glade, or Ziploc... not SCJ. The SC Johson Wax a family company has to do more with giving the product a "stamp of approval" while, at the same time, trying to "puff up the company" than with people choosing SCJ as a brand.

    If that were the case, by the way, Oust, as a brand, would still exist. One interesting decision was that SCJ could not maintain Oust as a brand --in spite of the SCJ umbrella-- and thus folded it into Glade.

    Finally, as far as consumers go, pump enough money into a brand and it becomes relevant. Or... did you think Nike and Apple just kind of popped up? Both brands have billions of bucks pumped into it.

  5. Kevin Horne from Verizon, August 5, 2014 at 11:37 a.m.

    @Marcelo - i have no idea what you are saying or what point(s) you are trying to make. In any case, it's irrelevant to this brand's story and my comment (talk about being off the mark - completely). "RB" has already made its corporate brand decision, and that's what i was commenting on. Read up on what P&G is doing from a corporate brand standpoint re: the CPG category, in the meantime....

  6. Neil Hunter from Consumer Kinetics Inc., August 5, 2014 at 7:52 p.m.

    Aside from the comments about RB vs the actual story I do find this interesting. Can someone please tell me how many share points a "Like" represents??
    As always the measuring of success in FB campaigns of someone who likes a brand but doesn't necessarily buy it is the FB issue. This issue is especially difficult for a CPG company like Reckitt....oh sorry RB that plays heavily in cleaning, not exactly the sexiest categories for "Likers" to engage in, and is heavy on brick and mortar, as Lysol toilet bowl cleaner is not exactly a "click to buy product"(maybe it should be).
    I will be really interested in whatever math is used to define the ROI on this one.

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