“When done right, radio works because of its reach, effectiveness and efficiency – exactly what P&G brands are looking for.” That’s Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer of Procter & Gamble talking about the consumer packaged goods giant’s ongoing use of broadcast radio in its marketing mix. P&G was radio’s top parent company advertiser in 2022 and based on Pritchard’s commentary at last week’s Radio Mercury Awards, the partnership is only getting stronger.
Because P&G manufactures health and hygiene products that most people use every day, just about everyone is a potential customer. “Nearly 100% of people wash their clothes, wash their dishes, care for their hair, use toilet paper, brush their teeth,” he told the awards show crowd at Sony Studios in New York City last Thursday night (June 8). So brands like Charmin, Crest, and Tide want to promote their benefits to 100% of the population. “Radio is a powerful way to reach those consumers with its tremendous breadth and availability,” Pritchard explained.
Since different groups have different needs and respond to different messages, Pritchard said their goal is “to reach each consumer group more precisely.” He called radio “a powerful medium to reach and resonate more precisely” with Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American and LGBTQ population segments, as well as people with disabilities. He called these groups “the fastest growing consumer segments in the country, and possibly the single biggest opportunity for market growth in our industry.”
Appearing via video as the Radio Mercury Awards bestowed P&G with the Radio Marketer of the Year award, Pritchard recalled how the company’s radio history began nearly a century ago when it sponsored baseball games on radio and radio dramas on WLW (700) in its home market of Cincinnati. That was followed by a decades-long airwaves absence until 2017 when P&G, frustrated by narrow digital-ad targeting, began advertising some of its biggest brands on the radio. John Fix, one of P&G’s top media and marketing execs, explained the rationale in a 2017 appearance at the Radio Show.
Adding some color to its radio return and subsequent ramp-up, Pritchard recounted how he and RAB President & CEO Erica Farber would meet annually with radio industry leaders – first in person, later on Zoom calls as the pandemic took hold. These were “eye opening meetings” that Pritchard said helped P&G brands “rediscover radio.”
Procter & Gamble remained radio’s top parent company advertiser in 2022, investing $233.6 million in the medium, according to data provided to Inside Radio by advertising intelligence firm Vivvix.
Now Pritchard said P&G has a “renewed commitment to partnering with the radio industry to advance audio creativity and innovation, which should lead to investment and drive growth. Growth for our brands in the markets in which they compete and growth for the entire radio industry.”
Calling it a “tremendous honor” to receive the Marketer of the Year award, Pritchard said, “Everyone in the room tonight inspired me and our team at P&G to raise the bar on creativity for growth.” In closing his remarks, he added, “We look forward to continued collaboration and partnership for sustained growth and value creation.”