P&G continues to diversify approach online

15 July 2010

CINCINNATI: Procter & Gamble, the FMCG giant, is launching a new online series that will promote its own Pampers brand alongside products made by other companies.

The world's biggest advertiser has released details about Welcome to Parenthood, which will feature 14 separate episodes tracking the real-life challenges facing three families.

Each edition will be five or six minutes in length, and combine a reality TV format with practical advice linked to "different parenting milestones".

Pampers is "co-presenting" this effort with Abbott, a healthcare firm that makes a variety of goods relevant to this target audience, such as Similac infant formula.

Beech Nut, a baby food manufacturer, is also involved in this initiative, and has previously worked with Abbott on a number of online schemes.

As well as streaming this material on Pampers' website, P&G will upload it to the brand's Facebook page, where netizens can provide tips based on their own experience.

When the series comes to a close, the person which has submitted the best story will win a free supply of Pampers for a year.

Jodi Allen, vp, North America Baby Care at Procter & Gamble, argued Welcome to Parenthood would offer an "authentic look" at the obstacles that need to overcome by mothers and fathers.

Roger Fishman, president of the Zizo Group, an organisation specialising in digital media, and which helped P&G develop this programme, suggested it reflected a broader shift that advertisers should be seeking to implement.

"[This is an] example of how brands can connect with consumers through online content and communicate their message in an authentic and engaging way," he said.

According to estimates from Next Up Research, P&G has spent around $500k (€393k; £328k) on the Pampers brand page on Facebook to date.

However, Pampers witnessed a negative fallout on the social network after some customers in the US complained its recently-introduced Dry Max range caused rashes among some children.

This platform has played an equally vital role in P&G's bid to rebuild equity with moms, and will continue to be a central component of its wider marketing strategy going forward.

"We are with Facebook in a big way, and we wantto go wherever Facebook is going as well," Marc Pritchard, Procter & Gamble's global marketing and brand building officer, said at a recent conference.

"With the internet, now you have much more constant real-time connections with consumers and what they are about."

Data sourced from Procter & Gamble; additional content by Warc staff