P&G's measured spending on those media is growing at double- or triple-digit rates in some cases, though it still pales beside the billions spent on TV and magazines.
P&G's spending of $19.6 million on radio through September 1998 was tracking somewhat lower than the $29.3 million the company spent in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting. But P&G radio spending is up significantly from five years ago; in 1994, P&G spent $11.7 million on radio.
Its use of outdoor and newspaper advertising is growing faster. In 1994, P&G spent $2.3 million on newspaper ads and virtually nothing on outdoor. P&G spent $4.5 million on newspapers through September, according to CMR, up from $1.1 billion for all of '97, and $4.2 million on outdoor through September, up from $3 million in all of '97.
NEW PROGRAMS MOTIVATED
P&G's Agency Renewal program-its current push to reshape the creative process and its relationship with agencies-along with its agency compensation test should provide more impetus for a broader use of such traditional media.
One motivation for those efforts was to get beyond "a 20-plus year dependence upon 30-second television advertising, which a lot of our people have grown up with and are very comfortable with, and a lot of the agency people have grown up with and are very comfortable with," said Robert L. Wehling, P&G's global marketing officer.
"We have to be equally good at outdoor, radio, Internet and all of the different ways to reach the consumer," he said. "In fact, for some of our brands, television may be the third or fourth medium we think about. It shouldn't be the first thing we develop."
A BIG SHIFT IN THINKING
Such thinking would be a big shift for many P&G managers and agency creatives, who traditionally developed copy for TV, then magazines, then occasionally other media, said Jim Van Cleave, former VP-media and programming at P&G.
"Agencies would say that they didn't use radio because they didn't have the copy for it," Mr. Van Cleave said.
P&G's Folger's brand has long used radio, but recently has been joined by a host of fledgling P&G brands, such as Millstone coffee and test-market brands Dryel home dry-cleaning kits, Jakada iced coffee, Bounty napkins and Jif Sensations flavored peanut butter.
A 1997 ad for Pantene shampoo from Grey Advertising, New York, ended P&G's long absence from the outdoor medium. Since then, four more P&G brands have added outdoor to their mix, including Millstone, Tide detergent, Oil of Olay skincare products and, most recently, Pert Plus shampoo.
Tide's outdoor campaign recently spilled into newspapers, with a color ad based on the outdoor copy.
NO CENTRAL DICTUM ON MEDIA
Mr. Wehling said the broader use of media really stems from individual decisions by marketing directors and brand managers, rather than any central company directive.
For example, he said P&G's move toward more outdoor advertising started with Pantene's broader strategy of omnipresence through a variety of media.
"And they became omnipresent," he said. "You couldn't escape Pantene billboards and messages."
The executive added that, "as usually happens around here," other P&G brand managers would notice a Pantene sign and say, "Maybe we can do that on Tide or Oil of Olay."
Long term, said P&G VP-Marketing Denis Beausejour, the company's experiment in "media-neutral" agency compensation will generate "significantly more proposals from the agencies about how to . . . meet our consumers where they are, whether that's print or newspaper or billboards or . . . whatever that