Global marketing boss of the world’s biggest FMCG company, Proctor & Gamble’s Marc Pritchard, has lashed agencies for creating too much “crap” but says advertising – not content – is still a beautiful art when it’s done right.
Speaking at ANA Masters of Marketing conference in Orlando in the US last week, Pritchard told the audience that advertising had become a dirty word in favour of “content”, but urged delegates to resist the change.
“I proudly use the term ‘advertising’ to describe our craft, because it’s a noble and it’s a beautiful craft, and we need to treat it as such,” Pritchard said. “Let’s face it, advertising has a bad reputation. I guess that’s why we’ve been trying to rename it ‘content.'” His comments reported on the industry site Campaign Live.
Pritchard agreed that technology now plays a huge part in advertising but it doesn’t always translate into better creative. On the plus side, technology had brought marvellous new additions for marketers such as AR and VR. However, on the downside we now have things like viewability problems, ad skipping and ad blocking.
“Too often we produce crap,” said Pritchard. “Craft or crap, that’s our creative challenge. Technology enables both.”
Pritchard agreed another of tech’s challenges was how to market Proctor & Gamble products across the myriad of screens that consumers now use.
“In our quest to produce dynamic real-time marketing in the digital age, we were producing thousands of new ads, posts, tweets, every week, every month, every year,” he said. “I guess we thought the best way to cut through the clutter was to create more ads. All we were doing was adding to the noise.”
The company has a rich history of daring creative, 2015’s “Like a Girl” campaign as case in point which proved a huge success financially and otherwise for the brand.
Pritchard said there’d be continued investment in creative and would continue to focus on three key elements – expressing the brand on a creative canvas, elevating the craft, and embracing creativity as a human endeavour. He said that too many brands dwelled on the data when they should be emphasising the creative.”Measurement is not going to make crappy advertising better,” he said.