P&G and Mastercard: advertising is not the future and creativity is measured in a tingle

While Procter & Gamble's chief marketing officer Marc Pritchard explains his "creative tingle", Mastercard's chief marketer Raja Rajamannar believes advertising as we know it is not the way forward.

Panel (L-R): Rajamannar, Pritchard, and Mars global president of confectionary Andrew Clarke
Panel (L-R): Rajamannar, Pritchard, and Mars global president of confectionary Andrew Clarke

For Mastercard this shift has meant a clear focus on sponsorship and experiential marketing away from traditional advertising.

"We have pivoted to experiential marketing as to us it’s all about story-making," explained Rajamannar at an Economist panel debate in Cannes.

But for Mastercard this has also led it towards a restructuring to focus more on women – its consumers, its employees and its ambassadors.

"We know that 80% of purchase decisions are made by women. And so we should have 80% of our staff within marketing as women. This is not at junior levels, but all levels across the hierarchy that report to me. And we are now close to this target," he said, adding: "Women in my team understand a woman much better than I can."

Rajamannar believes that finding the right women ambassadors that will inspire women is vital rather than the classic male line-up.

He explained that the brand’s global move into sponsorships was focused around nine passion points, from sport to tourism. "We give people an experience at scale - they form a story in their head and they will share the story," said Rajamannar.

Also speaking on the panel, P&G’s chief marketing officer Marc Pritchard was asked how he measured creativity.

"We don’t measure creativity, you feel it. The more we measured it the worse it got; we focus on the outcomes of creativity," said Pritchard.

He explained how it was impossible to measure how successful the brand’s recent Tide advertising would be, but he could feel the magic of it: "I go with the tingle factor. And I’ve just had [a new] Pantene campaign described to me. I tingled, I knew it was a brilliant idea.

"That’s how you measure creativity: you feel it, let it seep in, then you measure it. You get it out there and see how people react, then you juice it."

Pritchard also discussed the reinvention and "mass disruption" of marketing from less push to more pull.

"Mass disruption is here and the best way to deal with it is to lead the disruption. It's far less of the push and more of a local pull and that is turning into an explosion of creativity. The future of marketing is going to come from much more of that."