LP9 Assignment: Proctor & Gamble Turns to Social Networking

LP9 Assignment: Proctor & Gamble Turns to Social NetworkingDirections: Read Case #1 on pp. 376 – 377 of the textbook. Analyze the move toward social networking that many advertising companies are making. Write a 2 – 3 page paper discussing the topic.Your paper should include the following:• Discuss how the success of a social networking marketing campaign should be measured.• P&G dropped long-running soap operas to replace them with social networking advertising. List key arguments might have been used to convince P&G marketing executives to make this change.• Develop a list of five key criteria that P&G might use to assess both the appropriateness and effectiveness of its YouTube commercials.Your paper must follow these guidelines:• Double-spaced• 12 point Times font• 1 inch margins• Quotes over 3 lines, Reference page, and title page do not count in page total• At least 3 references used (textbook and two Internet resources)• APA format (title page, citations, Reference page)• Correct spelling, grammar, and punctuationSpending big on advertising has always been a key strategy for consumer products giant Proc-ter & Gamble (P&G). With recent annual global ad spending in the neighborhood of $9 billion,P&G is one of the world’s top advertisers.64 P&G was an early sponsor and producer of daytimeradio and TV dramas—for which the term soap opera was coined. Its Guiding Light programbegan airing on radio in 1 937 and moved to TV in 1 952.65 The P&G produced and sponsoredAs the World Turns was the leading soap opera for decades, winning many daytime Emmyawards. However, over the years, women—the target audience for such programs—made ahuge shift in their TV viewing habits as they moved into the workplace, became more interestedin talk and reality shows, and, more recently, began spending more of their leisure time online.The daytime soap opera died when P&G finally pulled the plug on As the World Turns in 2010after 53 years. In 2006, P&G began working with Facebook to promote its brands using standard bannerads and promoting Facebook groups seeking fans for the company and/or its products. How-ever, this approach was not very successful. P&G’s biggest success was a Crest Whitestripspromotion that invited college students to become “fans” on its Facebook page. The companyoffered thousands of free movie screenings and sponsored concerts but still only attracted1 4,000 fans to the product’s Facebook page. When the promotions ended, the fans left too. Theproblem, according to Web guru Seth Goldstein, is: “Advertisers distract users; users ignoreadvertisers; advertisers distract better; users ignore better.”67P&G’s next experiment with social networking was in 2007, when it collaborated withYahoo! and the ZiZi Group to create Capessa.com, an online social network targeted at women.Capessa enabled women to post their stories and discuss topics such as parenting, managing their careers, getting in shape, and dealing with illnesses. One of the goals of this experimentwas to identify ways in which social networking could be used to gain a better understanding ofwomen’s likes, dislikes, interests, and needs. Ultimately, no direct connection between Capessaand an increase in sales could be made.68Some people are concerned about the blurring of lines between editorial and advertisingcontent. They also are skeptical as to whether the stories posted on social networks are fromreal people or from paid actors or authors.69Recognizing that its current approach was not working, P&G invited Google, Facebook,Twitter, and other social media experts to work with it to explore how online and digital mediacould more effectively support its marketing program. This spawned several new approaches.P&G has expanded its efforts to sell some top brands (Pampers, Olay, and Pantene) by offeringshopping through a Facebook app. Consumers click a Shop Now tab on the page to completetheir orders and then check out through Amazon.com.70 And its “Smell Like a Man, Man” com-mercials began appearing on YouTube. These commercials starred the beefy ex-football playerIsaiah Mustafa wearing only a towel. The commercials were a big hit, drawing over 1 40 millionviews and helping its Old Spice brand sales to expand at a double-digit growth rate.71 , As a result of these successes, P&G set a goal that each of its brands develop a meaning-ful presence on Facebook. In addition, it is creating smartphone applications for its consumers;one free app available at Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market provides women withguidance on which P&G beauty products to use and how to use them to get a desired look.73Marketing experts say many of the large companies were slow to adopt the use of socialnetworks; however, they also agree that consumer goods companies Coca-Cola, Pepsi, P&G,Unilever, and Johnson & Johnson are now coming on strong.74 The decision to drop soapoperas and move advertising dollars to social media was not a popular one with some seniorP&G managers (who had spent much of their careers supporting advertising on soap operas)nor with many soap opera fans (who were very attached to these programs), but the decisionwas a clear indication that P&G recognizes that “the times they are a-changing.”

 

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