While Marc Pritchard would like to see more of a balance between positive and negative news coverage, Procter & Gamble maintains a presence on a variety of news programs. It’s also leveraging broader and more in depth news content in the form of deals with CNN’s Great Big Story and Katie Couric Media.
“Marketers need to be part of the news environment because our consumers are engaged in the news environment,” P&G’s Chief Brand Officer says in this interview with Beet.TV. “They’re getting information about the world and about society and about trends, and therefore that’s an opportunity for them to get information about our products and our brands.”
Engaging with consumers beyond headlines and quick news stories can convey messaging that brief ads alongside such content cannot, according to Pritchard.
“We can create content that a journalist or a news company can do a better job of communicating. They can unpack it in maybe a more in depth way and create different views of that particular area that might be of interest to people.”
Last year, P&G partnered with Great Big Story on a 20-minute film titled Words Matter chronicling the venerable marketer’s journey to endorsing its acceptance of all things LGBTQ—a journey that took about 30 years. The film gave viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the internal process that ultimately produced its LGBTQ stance.
“That was a great story and it got a lot of interest from a lot of people,” Pritchard says. “It shined the light on our company in a way that we probably couldn’t have done ourselves. It was better and more credible for a news organization doing so.”
Those same capabilities are one reason why P&G has a partnership with Katie Couric Media. “She’s a great journalist. She’s told some of the best stories and done some of the best investigative journalism of anyone.”
Asked about the company’s brand safety guidelines for news content, Pritchard says the standards are the same across every piece of content or program in which P&G advertises “because you’re judged by the company you keep. If a line is crossed then we’ll pull our ads.”
He’d like to see a higher bar for expectations of news content in the areas of truth and transparency. Light needs to be shone on situations “in such a way that has multiple views as opposed to one skewed view.” In addition, Pritchard would prefer to see less focus on “those things that are sensational and focus on a range of things. Because the news has a huge impact on culture, on images, on portrayals of people and it’s really important that they get the right balance of both the positive and negative in their programming.”
This video is part of a Beet.TV series exploring the dynamic news landscape and opportunities for marketers. The series is sponsored by CNN. For more from the series, please visit this page.