WFA names its Global Marketer of the Year for 2021

By our News Team | 2022

Top Unilever marketer is honoured by the World Federation of Advertising for her rapid impact at the company in challenging circumstances.

The World Federation of Advertising (WFA) has named Unilever’s Chief Digital and Marketing Officer, Conny Braams, as its Global Marketer of the Year 2021.

She was awarded this recognition following a combined vote from an expert jury and the industry at large, including WFA members, with each accounting for a half of the final score.

As the company’s first Chief Digital and Marketing Officer, Braams is responsible for Unilever’s end-to-end digital transformation and marketing worldwide, as it pushes to maximise opportunities for growth. 

She was appointed to her current position in January 2020, following a career at Unilever spanning more than three decades, and with a track-record of driving change at scale.

Under Braams’ leadership, the company has invested heavily in AI and machine learning as well as evolving its ‘Digital Hubs’ to ‘Digital Marketing and Commerce Hubs’ to benefit from the increasing convergence of media, entertainment and commerce.

Marketing Awards

Conny Braams. Photo courtesy of the World Federation of Advertising

Cemented and created partnerships

“It cemented trusted partnerships and created new ones through a global media agency review to ensure future-fit, best-in-class support in the dynamic media landscape,” WFA said in a statement.

Unilever’s digital spend is now more than 40% – with parts of the world, such as China, significantly higher – as Unilever increases spend in areas like gaming, influencer marketing, entertainment, new digital business models and digital commerce.  

“Conny is also on a mission to make sustainable choices simple and preferred for consumers, and champions the role that marketers can play in driving responsible growth,” WFA said.

In her response, Braams noted: “It was an honour to be included amongst a line-up of heavyweights in the WFA’s Global Marketer of the Year shortlist, and it’s a fantastic acknowledgement to win! Of course, this award is not about me, it recognises the outstanding marketing community at Unilever who grow our brands, powered by purpose, innovation and creativity.”

According to WFA President and head of the expert jury for the awards, Raja Rajamannar, Braams has made a rapid impact at Unilever in very challenging circumstances. She has demonstrated how marketing, when done with empathy, can help solve consumer challenges [and] ensure brands are focused on providing not just value, but also values. 

“She has shown true leadership and is a worthy winner of this award,” said Rajamannar.