Yes, the 30-second spot has lots of life left-and it sometimes looms larger than life, as in the case of the Super Bowl. But the savviest marketers, like P&G and Johnson & Johnson, are reaching out through new touch points rather than clinging to that standard advertising model.
In one example at P&G, design has now crept up in the corporate hierarchy. The goal is for aesthetics to play a major role in product creation at the outset. With this focus, P&G is looking beyond traditional marketing metrics and instead thinking holistically.
J&J's McNeil Consumer and Specialty Pharmaceutical division, meanwhile, upended its marketing approach after Tylenol, the category leader, saw its sales slip and its ads didn't help reverse the decline. The solution was zero-based thinking, which resulted in a fresh TV approach via a new agency, augmented with a full range of efforts including consumer promotion with CBS's reality juggernaut "Survivor"; buzz marketing, including a "living billboard"; and even newspaper wraps.
Both marketers are to be applauded for having the courage to take chances and shatter the status quo. But as Mr. Stengel said in his address, there's still a long way to go to earn a better grade. The industry "must be ready to embrace risk-taking for the sake of innovation, or we risk the biggest risk of all," he said. "Being left behind."