Tag Archives: marketing

P&G provide a masterclass in advertising

There are no shortage of books, seminars and courses that promise to teach you about advertising.

Thousands of books, seminars which cost a small fortune and courses which take years to complete.

But despite all of this investment of time and money, we have a big problem …

to put it politely …

in the words of my American friends …


Most advertising is banal, insulting, repetitive, unoriginal, and boring.

You could add another 20/50/100 adjectives here to this list.

It’s true. Most of it sucks.

Very little advertising is original, inspiring or makes you feel good.

So, instead of learning about how to make bad adverts, save your time and money and instead spend a minute watching ‘Kids‘, the latest Olympics advert from Proctor and Gamble.

This is a masterclass in advertising.

What it does is make you feel good about a company that makes wash powder, cleaning products and razors.

I’m a fan. Their products help me clean better, shave closer and smell nicer, but this is hardly saving the world or helping the needy.

They are not making life saving drugs … they make soap, washing up liquid and batteries.

But it doesn’t matter.

What the Wieden + Kennedy advert shows that P&G understand their customers.

It shows that P&G cares about the things that their customers care about.

It shows that life is not about products, services or stuff but about people.

And in particular, the ones we care about the most – kids, our children.

And by ‘we’ I mean P&G customers.

Yes, they will have a number of defined buying groups, clearly segmented demographics, but what P&G have done with this advert is focused on a much more simple group. A much broader group. They have focused on a group called people.

What Wieden + Kennedy have done is to produce an advert that appeals to the heart of what being human is about.

It is about achievement, passion, fun, caring, anticipation, excitement, and most importantly ‘potential’.

When they do this, the move from trying to sell products or brands to making a human connection.

A positive human connection.

And I’m gripped. I see this and I want to know who is advertising.

I want to know who cares about human potential.

Who runs an advert that cares about what I care about?

I want to know who spent the money on an advert like this.

I want to know whether they will wait until the end to tell me who they are.

I will try and guess, but a good advert will give me no clues … until the very end, when I want to know.

I know what they are doing with the advert, and so do the majority of people watching it.

People are aware of what is going on.

They know the game.

We know it is emotional, about feeling good and making a ‘positive brand connection’.

And you know what?

It doesn’t matter.

It is a great advert. It makes me feel great. It shows that P&G knows what is important to me, and it makes me that little bit more inclined to pick a P&G product over a competitor.

And that is good advertising. Nice work Wieden + Kennedy. Well done P&G.


Instead of wasting time arguing with customers, spend your time fixing the product

You have two choices in product development, argue with customers or sell them what they want to buy, because it does the function they want to do.

Simple as that.

It doesn’t matter whether it is a product, a service or an experience.

Build/do/provide something the customer values, and will pay for.

It is amazing how many product managers and marketers, argue with customers. Seriously, they do. They argue about missing features, bugs, prices, support models and a range of other factors.

If you find yourself disagreeing with customers about what is needed, it is time for a reality check.

You could be ahead of the market, but you are more likely to be wrong.

If in doubt about which this is, look at sales growth and profit for you vs. the competition.

  • Flat sales growth means that existing customers are not excited enough to be telling others to buy your product.
  • Low profit means your product isn’t worth what you think it is worth.

If the competition is making more money, growing market share faster, you are wrong.

You can complain, you can explain, but you are then arguing with customers (and that doesn’t work).

Time to start listening to customers.

Once you have done that, the hard bit comes, deciding what to do first.

Quick tip. Start by solving the pain that no one else is, and turn the pain into pleasure.

And a final tip from Benjamin Zander; when the customer tells you what you really don’t want to hear. When they ask for the feature that you have just dropped, when they ask for the feature the competition does better … smile and say, “thank you”.

By talking to you, they are telling you that they want you to succeed. This is not the same as saying that they will buy the product, but that they do want you do at least give then the option.