He also made his commercial acting debut in a mock spot for Old Spice, replete with outtakes, produced, he said, on a conservative budget by Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
A splash of humor
And just as in the Old Spice commercial currently airing that shows a centaur in the shower, Mr. Stengel in the mock spot intones: "I'm Jim Stengel, and I'm two things: a marketer and a man."
Not to mention a limited liability corporation.
Mr. Stengel the man lifted the veil on the title of his forthcoming book on package goods, which will further his mission to be a change agent and catalyst globally to try and lift marketing to a much higher level of purpose and performance.
The book is about building a business case for the concept, which he said is not about cause marketing, though it often involves cause marketing. It will be a cornerstone of a brand, literally known as Jim Stengel LLC. It's simple, he said, and ownable.
Swinging back at Axe
Old Spice is actually a prime example of his purpose-driven brand approach, he said, noting that the brand has seen much better business results since shifting its focus from a message that heavily resembled that of Unilever rival Axe to a new brand purpose, developed under Wieden, which embraced the brand's fatherliness and which he described as trying to help young men navigate the seas of manhood.
P&G brands such as Tide, Downy, Olay and Safeguard that have a clear sense of such purpose have thrived, he discovered. But, he noted, consumers can also notice when a brand team is depressed.
So he focused his talk on his five-step plan, largely about inspiring and motivating marketing organizations, focusing on people development, engaging hearts and minds in everything a marketing organization does, focusing on results and accountability, valuing creativity and having an inspirational purpose behind every brand.
Riding over bumps
Such an approach works in good times and bad, he said, and is probably even more important now.
In a flash poll after Mr. Stengel's address, marketers appeared divided on how the economy will affect the more tangible aspect of their operations -- their spending plans. Only 8% said there will be no change, while 33% said they expect to cut spending, another 33% said they plan to maintain spending but change the marketing mix, and 27% said they actually plan to spend more.