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J&J embraces 'trans-creation'

News, 21 June 2016

NEW YORK: Marketing operations at Johnson & Johnson, the healthcare and CPG business, have been restructured over the past two and a half years to produce a recognisable company framework in which the idea of "trans-creation" plays a key role.

"If you came here two years ago, we were great marketers, but probably all came from different places or grew up in different companies," said Vineet Mehra, president of J&J's consumer group. "There wasn't really a J&J way of marketing," he told Advertising Age.

That has all changed with the appointment of the division's first global chief marketing officer. Alison Lewis has developed a framework that sets out how J&J brands should allocate resources and how they ought to work with agency partners.

At the same time, she has sought to "globalise brands that in some cases didn't have as much scale in certain parts of the world".

For Lewis that means being able to take a global idea and "trans-create" it, adapting it to local market languages and needs without losing the sense of the original message.

"You see executions that take into account the sort of cultural nuances in Asia versus what would happen in the US," she explained.

"So it's really getting to the relevancy thing … what's going to work in my marketing to connect with the consumer in my market."

When Mehra spoke at last year's ANA Digital & Social Media Conference he emphasised "relentless relevance" as J&J's mission.

"We have to drive relevance by putting a deep sense of purpose into our brands, and connecting that purpose via content in moments that matter," he said as he outlined the company's 'Moments That Matter' initiative.

"A lot of the content that we're creating is [based] off the same ideas that travelled to over 20 countries around the world. And it's working extremely well, wherever we go."

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff