P&G broadens its interactive effort

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Fresh off what appears to be its biggest one-day interactive media buy ever Sept. 21, Procter & Gamble Co. is expanding its marketing efforts in the medium on several fronts, including launching the long-awaited expansion of its Tremor teen buzz-marketing program to moms.

P&G last week launched its NFL Season of a Lifetime sweepstakes for Prilosec OTC with the extensive one-day "Paint the Internet Purple" interactive blitz from Imc2, including top placement on Yahoo! and a half-page unit on the home page of ESPN.com.

Prilosec.com also plays a role in reinforcing in-store portions of the push, which also includes TV, radio and print by Publicis Groupe's Publicis Worldwide, with planning and buying by sibling Starcom MediaVest Group. Players who enter a code from a retail display or package get 101 entries, compared to one for others.

P&G long has been active in interactive, largely through its own sites and e-mail programs, but was seldom a heavy buyer up to now, having spent only about $12.2 million across all its brands on interactive media in 2004, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Like most other package-goods players, P&G brands have been slow to participate in interactive media's post-bubble boom.

Steve Steinbrunner, interactive-marketing manager for Prilosec OTC, said P&G wasn't looking to hit a dollar-spending amount or share of the media budget for interactive, but that being heavy in the medium made sense for the project. "It's a decent amount [of spending]," said Steve Minichini, Imc2's VP-media and head of its New York office, while declining to give specifics. "What we tried to do with this portion of the [interactive media plan] was almost think about it as a prime-time spot."

P&G earlier this month also launched a test of Tremor Moms in Columbus, Ohio, and Buffalo, N.Y., aiming to expand its 250,000-strong Tremor online teen buzz-marketing program to a consumer target far more crucial to most P&G brands.

New distribution channels

Tremor, which P&G also sells to outside marketers for as much as $1 million per program, has been used more heavily by outside marketers than P&G, which has only a handful of brands, such as Old Spice, Secret and Cover Girl, with teens as primary targets. Tremor Moms is luring women with the chance to review a Hollywood script and uses a set of screening questions and a proprietary algorithm to select panelists with the greatest propensity to spread buzz.

P&G also recently has begun tinkering with new distribution formats for existing programs, having added Real Simple Syndication (RSS) capability for its Brandsaver online couponing program and podcasts for HealthExpressions.com, its multi-brand health-care-relationship-marketing program. Bridge Worldwide, Cincinnati, handles those efforts.

Coming late

P&G has been an active marketer online, with its own Web sites and e-mail programs, but it was not a heavy online buyer up to now

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