"We may not end up with an agency that does it all end to end,"
says Jeff Smith, group chairman of J&J Consumer for North
America. "But on some of my squads I have 20-plus agencies who
touch the brands over a year. Somebody's doing social, somebody
digital, somebody is managing the 6-second spots on Facebook but
someone else doing TV video. If my squads are going to operate in a
more agile, entrepreneurial way, they can't really manage 20-plus
Lewis says cost reduction may result, but it's not the primary
driver of the effort. "The number one priority is we're looking to
drive more growth," she says.
J&J Consumer sales grew a sluggish 1.1 percent last quarter
excluding effects of currency, acquisitions and divestitures,
behind many global peers and below the companywide 3.8-percent
organic sales growth.
J&J hopes to put a new agency system in place early next
year in the U.S., then begin re-applying the model to operations
globally. While the company isn't necessarily looking to match the
agency models used by any other marketer, Lewis says it is looking
to the McDonald's agency model developed with DDB and Omnicom for
inspiration, as well as approaches used by other global
Beyond the holding companies, J&J also is looking to develop
in-house creative and production studios to handle relatively
simple, quick-turnaround content such as Instagram posts, Lewis
says. This is similar to the U Studios that Unilever introduced
last year, but was inspired more directly by what Smith found OGX
and other Vogue International brands doing when they were acquired
"'Studio' makes it sound a bit more glamorous than they are,"
Smith says. "It's a small room with a glass door and a nice camera.
Daily they're doing multiple Instagram and social posts. We've been
learning from that. They're ridiculously simple to operate. We've
been relying on agencies to do this work because we felt like a
phone call was easier than just having the artist on site who could
just run a camera for you. You can go see some of these things at
agencies, that are overbuilt and can almost shoot a movie for you,
and that's really not what you need."