P&G Rewrites The Marketing Book

Jun 24, 2004

By David Morse

Procter & Gamble, the company credited by many with writing the book on brand management, is adding a new chapter on marketing to African-American consumers.

The company announced last week it had signed a multi-million dollar agreement with radio personality Tom Joyner and his company, Reach Media.

The deal is important for a number of reasons, not the least being it represents a fundamental shift in how P&G communicates with consumers in the African-American community.

The consumer brands giant is taking its message to the audience through radio, the medium that helped put it and its iconic brands on the map. P&G will air commercials on
the “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” which is syndicated in 115 markets across the U.S. Mr. Joyner’s show has an estimated audience of eight million listeners.

P&G’s deal, however, is a lot more than just running spots on the radio.

The company’s brands will also sponsor features like “Thursday Morning Mom,” a salute to moms, and “It’s Your World,” a daily soap opera.

Mr. Joyner and his on-air crew will interact with P&G products on the air, what the company calls “endorsement radio.”

P&G will also support organizations, including the Tom Joyner Foundation, which assist students at historically black colleges.

Moderator’s Comment: Does P&G’s deal with Tom Joyner and those by it and other large companies represent a shift
towards more targeted, grassroots marketing approaches? Will it pay off?

First, it should be noted that Procter and Gamble is no neophyte to the African-American market. They have two agencies with an African-American specialization,
Williams Advertising and Burrell, and P&G has also been a big sponsor of organizations like the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the United Negro College Fund,
the BET College Tour and others.

To answer our own question, P&G is apparently asking itself if more targeted, grassroots marketing is the key to success in modern brand management.

According to an article in the New York Times, Procter will be conducting a study to measure the value of this new partnership. Said P&G’s Susan
Mboya, “Because it’s becoming more and more difficult to reach consumers,” we must “understand better the return we’re getting on every marketing investment.”

David Morse – Moderator

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