Paul Holmes 25 Oct 2016 // 4:49PM GMT
MIAMI—The new model for integration involves a multi-disciplinary team working together to develop the brief—not just to execute—according to a panel featuring BP Fuels North America and sponsored by Ogilvy Public Relations at PRovoke16 this morning.
Donna Sanker, chief marketing officer for BP Fuels North America, leading all marketing activities for the BP, ampm, and ARCO brands, discussed her company’s initial approach to the PR agency as BP prepared to launch “our best fuel ever” and wanted a launch event.
It turned out that that brief was too limiting. “I looked at that and thought it was not going to deliver what we needed in terms of capturing the hearts and minds of consumers. We needed something much more powerful.”
Michelle Anderson, managing director at Ogilvy Public Relations, responded by suggesting a different approach. “We needed to have a business conversation about BP Fuels,” she said. And that business conversation led to both a broader consideration of the company’s challenge and an entirely different brief.
“Ultimately, the brief was not delivered to the agency, the brief was developed by an integrated agency team.” The PR agency worked with strategic planners from Ogilvy & Mather and global media agency Mindshare to better understand the BP Fuels audience. “What we presented back was not an advertising idea and not a PR idea, but a 360-degree idea,” Anderson said. “Donna told the agencies to take off their hats and just contribute to the process.”
One key to success was that the client was prepared to listen to all ideas, regardless of their source—or the extent to which they challenges preconceived ideas.
“I don’t want agencies to tell me what I want to hear,” Sanker said. “From the first time we met we had a very straightforward discussion and we were very candid about the obstacles we faced.”
Said Art Zambianchi, executive director at Mindshare: “What we appreciated was the permission to be honest, which is kind of rare in this business.”