Here’s an intriguing little tale of bloggers and bicuspids. molars and marketing, word-of-mouth and Wal-Mart.
Can you launch a new, unconventional product — one that requires consumers to adopt entirely new behavior, no less — with 5 second TV tags and a whole lot of blogging?
P&G sure seems to think so.
According to an article in today’s Ad Age, they’re launching Crest Weekly Clean (a “weekly addition to daily tooth brushing, giving a ‘just-from-the-dentist’, smooth, clean feeling”) mostly via sampling to bloggers and P&G’s Vocalpoint buzz-marketing program.
Is This Indie-Film Marketing Applied to Consumer Packaged Goods?
Launching a new product at mass retail is not for the faint of heart, or light of wallet.
Consolidation at retail has given retailers unprecedented power. Today, one in four dollars spent at retail in the U.S. is spent at Wal-Mart.
What this means that a product launch today is like marketing a Hollywood film: if you don’t have a ginormous opening weekend (first few months of sales), you’re in trouble.
This makes me wonder whether P&G isn’t deliberately stealing a page from the indie-film marketing playbook.
First, work hard to generate some buzz and groundswell.
Then, air commercials as if you’re shocked by the early “spontaneous” buzz: “Gosh really, our little brand? How nice of everyone to notice. We really weren’t expecting this, are we blushing?”
I’m as big a proponent of interactive as you’ll find in any CPG company. But still, mass retail demands fast product turns and has little patience for waiting around for a new product to find its customers. If I’m honest, I’d have to say I’m not sure I’d have the guts to launch a product like Crest Weekly Clean using online only.
Can A Major Marketer Wait For The Groundswell?
If there’s not a 1-2 punch planned (buzz marketing first and TV second), I’ll be very surprised.
More than that, I’ll be watching it very carefully. If P&G can pull off a product launch with only a smattering of TV, that changes the game quite a bit, doesn’t it?