The Olympics is entering its second week, so it is a good time to take a look at the advertising. I’ll post my thoughts on a few of the spots this week.
First up: P&G
P&G became an Olympic sponsor in 2010. This year we are seeing the company’s first big campaign.
The overall message is quite clear: P&G salutes Mom. The company is running several heart-warming spots highlighting the role of mothers. The ads are endearing and warm. I’m confident they scored well in consumer testing with moms all around the globe.
But I don’t see how the campaign is going to deliver much in the way of a financial return for P&G.
I see three potential issues.
Problem 1 is that the ads don’t provide a clear benefit. They are emotional and sweet but lack any rational reason to buy. Emotional benefits can work, of course, but there are two other issues.
Problem 2 is weak branding. You have to wait until the end of the spot to see the company behind it. The high order idea doesn’t immediately connect with the product category. Linkage seems weak.
Problem 3 is that the ads focus on both P&G and the product brands. At the end of each spot, a series of P&G brands flash by before the P&G logo appears. This is clearly an effort to connect the individual brands back to P&G. The overall impact, however, is hard to follow.
P&G is apparently very enthusiastic about the campaign. CMO Marc Pritchard told Reuters several weeks ago, “…it’s one of the highest returns on investment campaigns that we have done.” He also said it would generate $500 million in incremental sales this year.
If we believe the statement, P&G delivered incredible returns on the Olympic effort even before the event began, which would really be an accomplishment.
I suspect that what Marc actually meant to say was, “We hope it will be one of the highest returns on investment campaigns that we have ever done.”
While P&G’s spots warm the heart, I’m not certain that financial hope will come to pass.