Riley Dunn is the Brand Manager for Dove at Unilever, where he is in charge of the men’s care range. Through his personal and professional experience, he’s become a strong advocate for his Shiny New Object, the case for paternity leave.

Supporting gender equity and encouraging more men to have the grounding experience of at-home parenting should make a better world for all, starting with the marketing of CPG products.

Riley introduces himself as a marketer “motivated by making products and experiences for a better future” and this is what his philosophy is all about, from his Shiny New Object to his work advice for new marketers. Through his work in branding, he sees himself as creating culture shifts thanks to the influence that marketing has on changing consumer behaviours and choices.

This is evidenced by the work that Riley has done at Unilever, especially learning to think of the long game when it comes to anything from sourcing raw materials to packaging. Reducing plastic waste, carefully selecting suppliers, all plays an important role in ensuring that the end-to-end product development and marketing cycle is creating a better future for our children and their children. It is the opposite of letting them “pick up the cheque.”

How does Riley’s case for paternity leave link directly to becoming a better marketer? On the one hand, his recent experience of becoming a dad and being on paternity leave has shown him the importance of being “grounded in human nature” and taking a step back from a task-driven environment in day-to-day work. Riley thinks that “marketing is a balance of logic and magic… it’s tough to find the magic when you’re in the swing of things.”

Taking a step back from work has made him more energised and motivated for his return.

On the other hand, offering paternity leave makes business sense: it increases employee loyalty and reduces costs associated with attrition when recruitment drives are needed as unsatisfied marketers switch jobs. Having women back in work earlier, or on their own terms, also supports their career development and ensures a more balanced contribution to a brand’s marketing. As for children, young girls become more empowered knowing that society doesn’t expect them to grow up into pigeonholed roles, while young boys grow up with a different paradigm from older generations of men. 

All in all, Riley thinks that marketers are at the centre of driving paradigm changes, and driving a shift like the normalisation of paternity leave yields unlimited benefits for people and the planet alike. 

To find out more about Riley’s biggest career mistake, his advice to new marketers and his top tips on doing your own MBA, listen to the podcast here

Tom Ollerton is the Founder of Automated Creative. Subscribe to the ‘Shiny New Object’ Podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube and Soundcloud.