Spotlight on Two of Adweek’s 2013 Media Plans of the Year: Grey Poupon and Proctor & Gamble

Most of the time, when an advertising campaign goes viral or gains widespread popularity, the creative agency gets the credit. Of course, the creative is important in the overall success of the campaign, but this week Adweek chose to highlight the media planners: those who determine the right time and place to showcase the advertising and maximize the return for the client.

First up is Grey Poupon. This iconic French Dijon mustard brand released a commercial in 1981 upon which they’ve based their recent spot—in it, a Rolls-Royce pulls up beside another Rolls-Royce and a passenger in one asks “Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?” The other responds, “But of course!” and he hands the Grey Poupon to the inquiring passenger.

Following this exchange, Grey Poupon seemed to fade away as advertising efforts slowed. Fast forward to the 2000s: Grey Poupon tasks Crispin Porter + Bogusky with reviving the brand’s marketing: “The first year we had basically no money to bring this brand back,” recalls Bryant King, VP, Director of Message Planning and Analytics at the agency.

A successful Facebook Fan campaign in 2012 led Grey Poupon back to television. The 2013 campaign commercial originally aired as a 30-second spot during the Oscars and served as a teaser clip for two-minute film launched online that night. The video features the two gentlemen in their Rolls-Royces after the Grey Poupon has been exchanged. An exciting, action-packed car chase follows in which the one man tries to take back his stolen mustard.

According to Adweek, “On Oscar night, Grey Poupon sent 254 tweets, got 454 retweets and 5,700 total brand mentions, and picked up 414 new followers… A total of 363 media outlets, including Good Morning America, picked up the story, earning Grey Poupon 144 million impressions—2.5 times the 55 million it actually bought.” The online video earned over 1.7 million views and 33,000 social shares, effectively reintroducing Grey Poupon to American consumers.

Next is Proctor & Gamble’s 2012 Olympic campaign “Proud Sponsor of Moms” which was spearheaded by agency Carat’s media plan. These commercials highlighted the moms behind the Olympic athletes who sacrificed so much for their children.

The success of this campaign was largely due to the following elements: P&G’s title as an official 2012 Olympics sponsor, Wieden + Kennedy’s emotional creative concept, and the message’s global exposure across every platform from smartphones to stores in 204 international markets.

“The result is the largest and most successful campaign in P&G’s 175-year history. It delivered $200 million in incremental sales, a record-setting ROI. Consumer familiarity with P&G swelled 22 percent,” reports Adweek.

The campaign launched just before Mother’s Day with a two-minute video, “Best Jobs,” placed on P&G’s brand sites and Facebook page.

By the time the campaign moved to television, this video had been shared over 6 million times—NBC’s Today show also spread the word about this heartfelt video. P&G advertised through television shows with strong social interaction, like Fox’s American Idol and NBC’s The Voice to drive people back to Facebook and Twitter. By marrying television and digital, P&G maximized brand exposure.

P&G sponsored over 150 individual Olympic athletes and showcased 50 or so in video tributes, “Raising an Olympian.”  The videos were released every few days over social networks and ultimately earned 17 million combined views. During the actual games, P&G and Carat partnered with NBC and other broadcasters to capture moms’ reactions to their child’s victory.

P&G noted an impressive ad recall percentage, scoring 38% higher than any other U.S. Olympic sponsor: “This depth of storytelling was authentic and instrumental in delivering such high recall. By following it up with actions that people responded to, it deepened the loyalty of the people we are trying to serve,” said Janet Fletcher, P&G’s associate sports marketing director for the Olympics.

Both spots demonstrate an excellent combination of creative and media planning. Most of the time, however, a creative concept will only go so far. The media agencies make sure the message is distributed through the appropriate channels to maximize reach and return. Without this strategic planning, these campaigns may not have gone viral or achieved such incredible results.

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