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Thoughts on the P&G Global Suppliers Conference

11-24-2010 11:59 BJT

Our center delegation had photos with P & G managers after visiting the U.S. headquarter

Our center delegation had a conversation with P & G TV production company

Our center delegation had photos with P & G TV production company

Zhu Bin

Invited by P&G, He Haiming, deputy director of the Advertisement Operation and Management Center, and his two colleagues attended the P&G Conference of Global Suppliers in Cincinnati from 2nd to 8th October 2010.

P&G, founded in 1837, is one of the largest global companies that provide consumer products. P&G established Guangzhou P&G, the first joint venture in China, in 1988 and launched its business adventure in China. Being a strategic client and partner of CCTV, P&G has been participating in the Prime-time resource bidding since 2003 and come out top in terms of bidding amount through the years.
Attending the Global Supplier Conference is, on one hand, to improve the communication with client and the cooperation of the two parties, one the other hand, it is a good opportunity to gain some knowledge about the American media, specially the current situation and future of the TV media market there.

Innovation is the blood of an enterprise

During the conference, top managers of P&G, including the Global CEO, CFO, Brand Construction Officer and the Chief Technology Officer, introduced the situation of fresh developments and the strategy for further growth of the company.

What impressed us most is the changes made by P&G.

There are three aspects concerning the changes made by P&G:

First, more concentration was attached to innovation.

Bob McDonald, global director-general and CEO of P&G, has made a comprehensive introduction on P&G's future development strategies, business layout and goals in the conference. He put special emphasis on the innovation ability, especially the ability in innovating P&G's relationship and cooperation mode with its major suppliers. Innovation is nothing abstract for P&G. Being the forerunner in the modern marketing of brands, from the releasing of “Ivory Soap” in 1879 which has gained great popularity to being the first sponsor of "Soap Drama", P&G has never lacked innovation since the beginning. It is the first foreign company that has ever brought consumer surveys, an approach with great range and depth, to China, as well as the first enterprise that has started the campus recruitment.

At present, P&G innovation is no longer limited in that of technology, supply chain or products, but is more focused on innovating the mode of innovation itself.

One example is that the product innovation no longer refers to the term Research & Development, but called “communication & development”, because the process involves the enhancement of the communication between different technologies, disciplines, regions and operational departments, with special emphasis put on the cooperation with external partners. 50% of the research and development projects in P&G China are carried out via “communication & development” so far.

Second, more attention is paid on the emotional connection with consumers.

The traditional P&G advertisings have a clear focus on the functionality and benefit of product, e.g. Crest promotes the concept of “preventing tooth decay from the root”; Safeguard and Chinese Medical Association (CMA) on “health, sterilization, and skin care”; shampoos on “anti-dandruff, health, and smooth”, etc. Each of them reflects the goal and pursuit of the brand. However, P&G has more emotional pursuit in their brand promotion. In the global supplier conference, a promotion video called “Support the Olympic Mothers” was put on the screen of the hall. In the video was not the conventional image of competing athletes, but a series of pictures with daily touch: the Olympic athletes are growing up with the tender care from their mothers from infancy stage all the way to the competition stage. The mothers take them to the doctors when they don't feel well, watch them competing, and celebrate their victory with in the crowd with tears or laughter. Through these pictures, we can see a P&G that is putting more emphasis on the concept of family and the emotional aspect in life.

Third, highly diversified and integrated promotion channels of brand.

In July, the International Olympic Committee announced in London that it is will build a more extensive global partnership with P&G in the next 5 Olympic Games from 2012 to 2020. As a daily chemical enterprise, P&G is the rare case that has become the top partner of the IOC and promotes the brand with such a grand platform as the Olympic Games.

Apart from its relationship with Olympic Game and the approach of brand promotion by grand sports events, P&G also made an explicit introduction of the Old Spice. Old Spice is a daily care product series designed for male, including bath foam and sports perfume and other types of male-oriented products. The outdated brand image and the straight and narrow strategy in advertisement resulted in a just passable sales volume which has been outperformed by Axe, a brand of the Uniliver family. In February this year, the Polish advertisement company Wieden+Kennedy made an advertising film for P&G US which was later awarded in the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. P&G made an even more careful move in choosing the platform for the release. The film is put on the 30-second advertising interval in the Super Bowl, and then P&G opened an Old Spice Channel on YouTube, making the best use of the resources of the leading internet video website. The company also launched a series of questionnaire projects on Twitter and Facebook which has gain great effect from these interaction websites and combined the video promotion with the internet community marketing, generating a fast and effective propagation and great sensation. The visit capacity of the film reached 20 million in the first three days, and is expected to be the most popular internet virus video of the year. According to the statistics by Nielsen NetRatings, the film has not only drawn attention from the target male group between 21 and 35 but also the female group with 38% of the total visit capacity contributed by females.  The spokesman of Old Spice said that the Old Spice is already the NO. 1 male bath and perfume product in the US in terms of sales volume.

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