Q&A: Roisin Donnelly, UK corporate marketing director and head of marketing, Procter & Gamble

Marketing Week (MW): Why use a brand bundling strategy?

Roisin Donnelly (RD): Putting brands together allows Procter & Gamble to leverage its competitive edge. We have a very wide portfolio of brands that are talking to the same consumers.

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Beauty Recommended: Procter and Gamble promotes its products, including Olay, in an ezine

Bundling brands within our beauty and grooming department allowed us to run awards and talk to beauty editors about them together.

It was a natural transition from there to see whether there was an opportunity to advertise some of the brands together on TV. For our “makeover break” initiative – where a woman is made over using Max Factor, Olay, shampoo brand Aussie and hair colourant Nice & Easy products over a number of ad breaks – we worked with Channel 4 on the creative and production. It was the first time we ran a multibrand campaign on TV.

So we have looked at the common P&G brands that have proven stories and brought them together for the consumer.

MW: What reaction did you get from consumers to the makeover breaks?

RD: It was very successful. A lot of women went to the makeover break microsite to see exactly what products had been used, the shades, how they had been used and what the experts were saying. There was a huge increase in brand awareness across each of the brands and sales of the specific products shown went up.

MW: Do you think consumers know or care that all the products in the makeover breaks are from the same manufacturer?

RD: Some do and some don’t. What they want is a lot of great brands. We have just launched P&G as a corporate brand after 80 years in the UK and, in today’s world, people want to know whether a company is one they can trust.

MW: Your Beauty Recommended ezine includes P&G beauty products and other brands such as Chanel. Why include others?

RD: It is important we have [more general] messages as well. In the makeover break, we had an editor from Grazia magazine doing the clothes because that is part of the total look. The consumer does not just want a lipstick but to look great and feel great overall.

MW: How else are you using brand bundling?

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RD: We are running the Future Friendly marketing campaign, which includes a variety of P&G brands that have the common goal of helping people be more sustainable. These include Ariel, Lenor, Fairy, Flash, Pampers and Pantene, which have reduced packaging. The idea is to help save energy, save water and reduce waste.

It is another platform where rather than having a dozen brands with separate messages, we’ve got a number of brands in the P&G stable doing similar things. If they join up together, it leverages their edge and enables the consumer to make a much bigger impact for the planet.

MW: You have run Science Behind the Beauty ad breaks which look at the science behind Oral B toothbrushes, Olay and Head & Shoulders. How has that gone?

RD: The legislation changed last September so for certain categories we can show people in white coats in our advertising. As a result, we ran another multibrand event that worked in a similar way to the “makeover break”. We used P&G scientists, experts and a presenter telling a very scientific story of how the products really work, in-between the same TV show. Now it has become more of a brand we are doing a website and some standalone ads.

MW: Can we expect to see more brand bundling from P&G?

RD: As we promote P&G as a brand and for our Olympic Games sponsorship, you will see us putting our brands together more frequently. It makes more and more sense, especially in the digital arena where consumers are not going to visit 70 different websites.

We have introduced things like Supersavvyme.co.uk where we bring lots of brands together. It is targeted at consumers who have less time, so it is much more efficient to have some multibrand messages. The Supersavvyme site has more than 1 million hits a month.

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  • […] Roisin Donnelly, brand director for Northern Europe at Procter & Gamble, is another believer in the value of mentoring, having benefited from the guidance of mentors throughout her career, as well as mentoring junior marketers. She says that whether you are the mentor or the mentee, relationships have to be two-way. […]

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