UNILEVER PROJECT SUNLIGHT GIVES NEW LEADERS A VOICE
American children’s speeches on how to drive change will be heard by hundreds of millions of people through film and TV ads
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ – November 10, 2014 / PR Newswire / — Every day, thousands of children die from preventable diseases because they lack access to proper sanitation, hygiene and clean drinking water1. Equally, millions of people do not know where their next meal is coming from2, yet tons of food is wasted every year3.
Unilever Project Sunlight is launching “Bright Future Speeches,” a campaign to shine a light on young people who have new visions for a brighter future. These new leaders hold strong views on making sustainable living commonplace for everyone, and will share their ideas to tackle the issues above. Kylee McCumber from Leominster, Massachusetts and Elijah King from Los Angeles, California are two of the eight voices being amplified through the release of the first TV advertisement for the Unilever brand itself.
Films will show eight young people’s stories across five countries over the coming weeks, including Indonesia, the UK and the US. They will be heard by more than 300 million people across these countries4. Everyone who views the films can choose to get involved by raising awareness, volunteering, or supporting NGOs like Feeding America who work to help solve hunger.
Tackling these issues is at the heart of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which has pledged to help more than 1 billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
In October, Unilever Project Sunlight launched a program to encourage people to “Share A Meal” with families in need, based on the staggering statistic that one in five children in America doesn’t have enough food to eat. As an extension of this program, Unilever Project Sunlight is supporting the “Bright Future Speeches” films, which highlights youth hunger activists, like Kylee McCumber and Elijah King, to inspire adults to follow the examples of young people. In the past, we have heard famous adults drive world change through their speeches. Today, we hear the voices of new leaders making a difference and inspiring action:
Kylee McCumber, age 13, distributes meal kits to hungry children in her local community of Leominster, Massachusetts. Kylee provides meals to 185 children each week as part of the Kylee’s Kare Kits for Kidz program, an initiative she founded in 2012 after she found out that students at her own school were facing hunger.
“I started my organization hoping to provide food for ten kids in my school, and now I’m helping to feed nearly 200 – all because I wanted to do something,” Kylee explained. “It’s hard to believe that hunger exists in my own community. You don’t need a passport to find hunger, you only need to look around you.”
Elijah King, age 14, has been feeding the homeless for eight years by delivering meals and volunteering at community outreach events in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia and now Los Angeles, California. At the age of 5, while living in Atlanta, Elijah wanted to help feed the hungry in his community. He joined his local house of worship and helped collect donations from people to help feed the homeless and provide food, clothes, and even haircuts to the underprivileged.
“Seeing people suffering from hunger made me want to do something to help,” said Elijah. “I’ve seen first-hand how small actions can make a big difference in the fight against hunger. Together we can help end child hunger if we all do our part.”
“A year after the launch of Project Sunlight, a long-term initiative focused on creating a brighter future for children, Unilever is shining a light on the young people inspiring change in their communities,” said Keith Weed, Unilever Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. “We want the voices of the new generation to be heard – to motivate us all to take action. Together, we can help the millions of children who do not have access to basic sanitation, hygiene, nutrition and clean water.”
To help fight the issue of child hunger in the US, Unilever has partnered with the nation’s leading hunger-relief organization, Feeding America, which serves 12 million children each year. With the help of Feeding America’s vast network of 200 food banks nationwide, Unilever has been able to contribute nearly 30 million meals* to families and children over the past five years which includes more than 13 million pounds of food and more than $3 million in support.
To learn more about these inspiring young leaders and how you can “Share A Meal” to help a family in need this holiday season:
- SEE the speeches from new leaders and an inspirational documentary that spotlights today’s face of child hunger in America by visiting www.projectsunlight.us
- ACT by getting involved in local community organizations supporting the fight against child hunger in America, like your local Feeding America chapter
- JOIN the conversation and share your personal stories about new leaders fighting hunger in America using #ShareAMeal
“Bright Future Speeches” Television Advertisements
As part of the “Bright Future Speeches” program, the Unilever brand will be releasing its first ever TV advertisements and online content highlighting these inspiring young leaders. Created by Ogilvy London and David Latin America, these advertisements will highlight eight new leaders’ stories across five countries – including the US, the UK and Indonesia. Directed by John X. Carey, a 60 second global film as well as a 30 second local film will run on TV in each market and address local issue areas. Unilever will be sharing the “Bright Future Speeches” films and content on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, inviting people to join the conversation online.
To drive awareness, the films will be supported by a paid media strategy from PHD and Mindshare. Everyone who views the films can choose to get involved by raising awareness, volunteering or supporting Project Sunlight’s NGO partners including Save the Children, UNICEF, Oxfam, PSI and Feeding America. To help with providing communities with proper nutrition, access to clean water and improved hygiene and sanitation, Unilever is supporting various programs alongside its partners.
Last year, Unilever launched Project Sunlight, founded on a simple belief that there has never been a better time to create a brighter future for children and as a result of the campaign, two million children benefited.
Unilever’s global research showed that children’s optimism and enthusiasm inspire 9 out of 10 parents to make the world a better place5. This year, the program will hear directly from Elijah King and Kylee McCumber – highlighting their visions for change and driving action.
Find out how to get involved and support Unilever Project Sunlight by visiting www.projectsunlight.us or on Facebook and Twitter using #brightfuture. And to learn more about Unilever Project Sunlight’s global “Bright Future Speeches” campaign, please visit Unilever.com’s media center.
* Aggregate number of total meals donated calculated by Unilever based on cash and product donations made over the past five years using the following calculations to help provide meals: 2010: $1 = 7 meals; 2011/2012: $1 = 8 meals; 2013/2014: $1 = 9 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks. Pounds calculated using the USDA calculation of 1.2 pounds is the equivalent to one meal.
About Feeding America
Feeding America is a nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through food pantries and meal programs in communities throughout America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit http://www.feedingamerica.org/. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.
About Project Sunlight
Project Sunlight is a long-term Unilever initiative to motivate millions of people to live more sustainably by inspiring them to build a brighter future for children. It aims to create a growing community of people who believe it is possible to build a world where everyone lives well and sustainably, without compromising the needs of future generations. In 2013, Project Sunlight helped create a brighter future for two million children in US, UK, Brazil, India and Indonesia. To date, it has also inspired over 136 million people worldwide to commit to living more sustainably by visiting www.projectsunlight.us and making an “act of sunlight” pledge.
About Unilever United States, Inc.
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in more than 190 countries. Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. In the United States, the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Caress, Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy, Consort For Men, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Fruttare, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Just for Me!, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Magnum, Motions, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond’s, Popsicle, Promise, Q-tips, Simple, St. Ives, Suave, TIGI, TONI&GUY Hair Meet Wardrobe, TRESemmé and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies.
Our ambition is to double the size of our business, while reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals, we have defined seven pillars, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at http://www.unileverusa.com/sustainable-living/.
Unilever employs approximately 10,000 people in the United States – generating nearly $9 billion in sales in 2013. For more information, visit www.unileverusa.com.
-end- Source: UNICEF Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed Progress Report 2013. (http://www.unicef.org/lac/Committing_to_Child_Survival_APR_9_Sept_2013.pdf).
2 Source: US Department of Agriculture (USDA), 2013 (http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1565415/err173.pdf and http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts/child-hunger-facts.aspx).
3 Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Economic Forum (http://feedingamerica.org/how-we-fight-hunger/programs-and-services/network-programs/food-waste.aspx?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=redirect&utm_campaign=foodwaste).
4 Source: Notably via short films that will reach more than 300 million people through televised airtime alone in countries including Indonesia, the UK and the US.
5 Source: Unilever Project Sunlight Research Study 2103, conducted by Edelman Berland. Full report available on request.