P&G’s Marc Pritchard: Marketers must ‘reset’ the creative bar for market growth

Growing markets should be the “highest order ambition” for marketers, Pritchard said, as it attracts more people, which in turn creates more value.

Procter & Gamble’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard is urging marketers to “reset” the creative bar across insight, inclusion and impact to drive market growth for their brands.

“That’s the next reset – creativity that grows markets,” he said, speaking at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity today (20 June). “It’s the creative ambition we’re setting for our brands [at P&G].”

He admitted growing markets is “hard work” and will require rethinking “every aspect of creativity”, but said improving creative effectiveness will result in more customers and create more value in the long run.

“Growing markets is the highest order ambition because it attracts more people into the market to serve them with more of the best performing products. When we delight more people it creates more value, making the size of the pie bigger for all to share in,” said Pritchard.

He steered away from lamenting the current economic climate directly, following last year’s keynote where he talked of the “disruptions” facing businesses. Instead, he laid out a growth path for marketers to follow and referred to recent P&G successes, such as Pampers and Gillette.

P&G’s Marc Pritchard urges marketers to ‘double down’ on creativity amid inflation

He acknowledged how for a business like P&G, “close to 100% of people are potential customers”, however, its current media and advertising reaches “only about 50-70%”. This leaves “a lot of room for market growth”, but despite the wide opportunity he cautioned marketers against a wide brush-stroke approach.

“Precision” is needed, he added, “because each person wants something that meets their unique needs in relevant ways given the context of their lives.”

The power of insight

Laying out how brands can reset across insight, inclusion and impact, he urged a resetting of insight that creates a “deep, accurate and empathetic understanding of people to discover mind opening ‘Wow, I never thought about it that way’ insights that lead to creative brilliance.”

Pritchard shared P&G’s approach to insight, which means engaging with consumers “in homes, stores, ecommerce, websites, games and apps”, as well as through and proprietary research, ad testing and product testing.

“We then combine analytics with human intuition to find insights for creativity that elevates the brand experience,” he said.

P&G raises outlook as it hails focus on brand ‘superiority’

Next, he implored a resetting of the bar for creative inclusion, “to serve all people and each person” beyond “narrowly defined” target audiences to reach all potential consumers in market.

“For the cleaning, health and hygiene products our brands offer, people may have different needs based on their age, gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic situation, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability and where they live. That requires more precision, serving in ways that are relevant and better for each person to unlock further potential for market growth,” said Pritchard.

When we delight more people it creates more value, making the size of the pie bigger for all to share in.

Marc Pritchard, P&G

He said marketers must also raise the bar for creative impact, suggesting artificial intelligence (AI) will have a big role to play going forward.

“There are endless possibilities, especially as creative MVPs (most valuable partners) start to combine their human genius with the power of AI to clear the highest bar of creative effectiveness: market growth,” he said, in a moment where AI is leading many conversations about creativity and the future of advertising and marketing.

“We expect every brand to have an effective campaign, inspired by insights, transformed into ideas that appeal to all people which makes each person feel like ‘you already know me’,” he said. As well as campaigns that communicate “superior product performance and value for the job to be done, and that drives growth”.

He accepted that level of “creative difficulty is really high”, and that marketers need to “convey what the product is, how to use it, what benefit it delivers and why it’s better” in a way “that’s useful, interesting and builds the business.”

P&G to tackle rising costs through increased marketing ‘productivity’

Pritchard concluded his keynote by urging brands to “build the pipeline of diverse, multicultural creators to expand the diverse, multiculturally-owned and operated media market” to drive growth.

He emphasised P&G’s work with The Queen Collective – its partnership with Queen Latifah and Flavor Unit Entertainment – which aims to “build the pipeline of black and brown women directors and their crews”, as well as Old Spice’s recent campaign ‘The Writer’s Room’ with Kevin Hart, as positive work from P&G.

“But more is needed,” he added. “Please join us to widen the screen and grow the market through hiring diverse, multicultural creators and investing in multiculturally-owned and operated media companies.”

He finished: “We’re looking forward to working with all of you to unlock the next great creative expansion through the next reset – creativity that grows markets.”



    Leave a comment