P&G benefits from unique approach

17 June 2009

CINCINNATI: Procter & Gamble is developing an increasing number of "core brand ideas that then can turn into global campaigns", and has benefitted from adopting a unique approach to managing both its brands and agencies, says Marc Pritchard, its global marketing officer.

Pritchard is set to take charge of PR and design alongside his existing duties at the beginning of July this year, when Robert McDonald will also replace AG Lafley as the FMCG giant's president/ceo.

He said the company is aiming to combine the skills of its "brand franchise leaders" – who have a global remit and oversee the worldwide operations of some of P&G's biggest assets – with its "resources in the regions at the local level."

One example where this formula has proved successful is in developing Pampers' "Golden Sleep", a nappy that is "absorbent enough to allow the baby to sleep all night."

The idea for this campaign "originated in China", and then "travelled into the UK and all through Western Europe and then ultimately travelled to Egypt", where it was again adapted to local tastes.

Having brand franchise leaders, Pritchard argued, has resulted in "about a 20% increase in the percentage of projects that can travel globally in a pretty quick time."

P&G has also previously outlined its intention to focus on driving revenue growth in emerging markets, and its global marketing officer said many of these nations offered a "lot of opportunity."

A key reason for this is that a "lot of our existing products still have a lot of trial potential upside, because they're still in some cases below 25%" in terms of the number of consumers who have previously purchased brands from P&G's stable.

Despite the increased importance of these markets, Pritchard added that "I'd like to see marketers get experience at the local level."

This is something "I think they can do that everywhere: getting the basic experience at store level, making sure then you get experience at design, getting experience with marketing."

Another initiative on which P&G has placed increased emphasis is appointing "brand agency leaders", where a specific agency manages the worldwide communications for one of its brands, including the budget and the work of other advertising and media shops across the globe.

Remuneration is based on the results produced, and the world's biggest advertiser has rolled out this model to a number of its properties since 2007, including Oral-B, Old Spice, Pampers and Pringles.

Pritchard said this system is "working well", and had enabled the Cincinnati-based corporation to "integrate" communications and make sure "we get the best ideas and then ensure that it's executed in a way that's synergistic and holistic."

One example is the Champions of Gaming campaign for Gillette, which involved a tie-up with EA Sports and Microsoft's Xbox, and gave gamers the opportunity of winning the chance to "beat Tiger Woods or Roger Federer."

This campaign was headed up by BBDO, part of Data sourced from AdAge; additional content by WARC staff