Why P&G's Ads No Longer Stink
Contrary to the view that Procter & Gamble’s approach to marketing is an anathema to creativity, marketing chief Marc Pritchard revealed how the packaged goods giant is transforming its approach to brand storytelling with some very simple principles, starting with three key marketing catchphrases: “Find the fruits in the roots,” “Fight for freedom” and “Have the courage to say yes.”
Pritchard says it is something that he personally practices, and that whenever he focuses on a brand the first thing he does is go back to its roots to understand the “beginning of the brand’s life. It’s DNA” to understand how it got to where it currently is.
“Finding the fruits in the roots, is also about finding the most basic human insights,” he said, adding that it helps marketers and their agencies to understand the “Basic truths, motivations and intentions that define human experience” surrounding the brand and why consumers use it.
To illustrate this point, he provided an example of advertising created for P&G’s Fabreze brand, which focused on a fundamental universal truth: “Which is that you can shut your eyes, but you cannot shut your nose.”
To bring that truth home to consumers, P&G’s agencies developed a campaign that helped bring it to life for consumers of the clothes freshening brand. The campaign features the sweaty Azerbaijan Olympic wrestling team working out in their unitards, sneakers, jock straps and other wrestling gear, which are then treated with Fabreze, and presented to blind-folded focus groups in the team’s locker room.
“I feel like I’ve been smashed in the face by some flowers,” says one woman smelling one of the wrestler’s shoes.
“Fruity” says a blind-folded man, adding, “what kind of fruit is it? Passion fruit, yes?” Only to reveal that he is actually smelling a used jock strap.