Unilever has announced the success of its in-house digital marketing agency U-Studio, some 18 months since its initial launch.

Created in a bid to develop a zero-based budget strategy to better its efficiencies in brand and marketing investment, the 17 U-Studios, which were created in conjunction with creative services agency Oliver, are said to be delivering effectively across the 12 countries in which they have been launched.

According to the company’s annual report, the U-Studios are now are now ‘creating content for brand teams faster and around 30% cheaper than external agencies.’

Using an in-house agency was a strategy developed to try and counteract the fragmented nature of marketing, advertising and media, with Unilever’s annual report continuing, “Underlying operating margin improvement was principally driven by higher gross margins and brand and marketing efficiencies from zero-based budgeting.”

Speaking to The Drum, Aline Santos, Senior Vice President of marketing said that the U-Studios created  ‘quick-fixes, easy, digital’ and that it will continue to work with key agencies MullenLowe, JWT, and Ogilvy where it will focus on ‘strategic thinking.’