Procter & Gamble would have the public believe making and using
shampoo is slightly more complex than nuclear physics - P&G brand
managers still seem to favour all that blind ’em with the technicalities
But an analysis of Pantene Pro V’s adspend reveals that the real science
is in the marketing.
In the past year, P&G spent more than pounds 14 million on ads, and
bought a complex mix of magazine space and airtime. Everything about the
ad strategy was complex, even the agency arrangements (’classified
information’ according to P&G) which involve MediaCom doing the planning
and buying for press, while MediaVest buys the radio time and Starcom
buys TV and outdoor.
A total of pounds 12.2 million was spent on TV in the period, of which
Channel 4 picked up an enviable pounds 2.33 million. Carlton was not far
behind with pounds 1.96 million. More than pounds 1.3 million was spent
on 23 different satellite channels.
The most noticeable shift in TV strategy over the year was the move away
from the Scottish channels. The significant amount of advertising placed
on Channel 4 North, Central Scotland, Channel 5 North Scotland and GMTV
North stopped at the end of 1998. And if the Scottish channels were the
losers in the first half of 1999, Cartoon Network and Animal Planet were
the winners, getting a share of the Pantene spend for the first
Radio was clearly not a favoured medium: Atlantic, Capital, Heart 100.7
and Heart London FM shared a fairly insignificant pounds 13,990 between
While it is predictable that TV grabbed such a sizeable slice of the
Pantene pie, press advertising accounted for a reasonable share of the
spend, and seems to be an increasingly important ad vehicle.
Total press spend for the period was pounds 712,577, but that was
concentrated in the second quarter of 1999 (pounds 401,077, compared
with pounds 28,115 in the first quarter) and in July (pounds 163,693).
The press campaign launched with a major push in Sainsbury’s contract
title. Sainsbury’s The Magazine, published by New Crane, walked away
with an impressive pounds 107,000, or 15 per cent, of the total spend.
The glossies did well out of the press push too. Vogue landed another 9
per cent and Cosmopolitan 8 per cent, while She, Essentials, Marie
Claire, Good Housekeeping and New Woman all landed a 4 per cent share.
The themes of the ads focused on Pantene products that have been
designed specifically for coloured or highlighted hair, and included
copylines such as: ’Now you can prolong your colour’ and ’Make that
freshly coloured feeling last longer.’
Although it did not seem to affect the TV or press spend, the
traditional media owners may be a little concerned to note the increased
direct mail spend. Pantene issued five different direct mail campaigns
in April 1999, and one in June. Joint mailings between P&G and Tesco,
Boots or Superdrug all offered either free samples or discount vouchers.