Arun Sudhaman 12 Mar 2012 // 12:00AM GMT
CINCINNATI--Procter & Gamble is aiming to grow its branded entertainment presence, launching a review to identify agencies capable of driving new innovation in the area.
An RFI was sent out to a number of agencies last month, including firms that sit on P&G's many agency rosters.
The document focuses on North America, but includes consideration of P&G’s global scale. It reveals that the company is searching for firms that can “create integrated entertainment strategies for individual brands in collaboration with our incumbent agency partners” across such areas as advertising, PR, content creation and talent procurement. In the latter two areas, P&G currently works with Liquid Thread and Platinum Rye Entertainment.
The review comes as P&G moves to slash $10bn in costs over the next five years. The measures will see the company cut marketing staff, and focus more on digital media and multi-brand activity.
P&G has reshaped its branded entertainment strategy in recent years, developing numerous new digital properties such as Petside.com and DinnerTool.com, both of which are run in conjunction with NBC. In 2010, P&G partnered with Walmart to launch ‘Family Movie Night’.
Those moves mark a shift away from the now-defunct soap operas - such as 'Guiding Light' and 'As the World Turns' - that once made the company’s brands famous. P&G’s other existing entertainment properties include online men’s magazine ‘Man of the House’ and entertainment site PeoplesChoice.com.
The RFI asks agencies to demonstrate their “thought leadership” in terms of developing big entertainment ideas. Significantly, given the current cost-cutting climate at P&G, the brief also considers how a company like P&G should think about value, rather than monetary, exchanges, and the potential of generating revenue from global assets.
The scope of the review is broad, covering entertainment vehicles in TV, print, music, digital, gaming and movies. In addition to demonstrating their entertainment experience, agencies are asked to prove that they can develop "engaging content" in conjunction with media partners.
There is also a specific focus on the use of celebrities. For example, proposals are sought with regard to celebrity and entertainment assets, noting such partnerships as Dr Dre and Beats Audio, and the company's own CoverGirl deal with Queen Latifah.
Branded entertainment marketing - which includes content creation, event marketing and product placement - is expected to grow after reaching almost $26bn in 2010. The emergence of social media has helped the PR industry tout its credentials in an area that has been dominated by advertising, media and specialist agencies.
P&G’s current North American PR roster includes DeVries, Citizen Paine, Ketchum, MSLGroup, Marina Maher and Taylor.
The company did not respond to request for comment as this story went live.