How an iconic brand achieved growth by becoming a force for good
Is it possible for a brand to do well while doing good? Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble, thinks so. In Part 2 of our video series where a CMO meets a creator, Pritchard talks with YouTube creator Marques Brownlee about how to be a force for good in the industry and the world.
MARQUES BROWNLEE: My name is Marques Brownlee, a.k.a.
MKBHD on the internet, and I am a product reviewer.
MARC PRITCHARD: Hi, I'm Marc Pritchard,
and I am the chief brand officer, Procter & Gamble.
I'm really, really excited about spending some time here
and having a conversation, because I think the two of us
can probably make some good things happen together.
MARQUES BROWNLEE: I've been looking forward to it, man.
This is fun.
I think we wanted to start off talking about just
your challenges as a business.
And I'm in the tech space, but I think
there's a lot of parallels, where
you want to market the product and you also want to make as
good of a product as possible.
What do you find are your biggest challenges there?
MARC PRITCHARD: Our challenge is that we
make these everyday products that are cleaning, health,
People use them every single day.
They've got to be the absolute best.
In addition to that, we also want
to do good, because we reach 5 billion people
on the planet every day with our products
and with our advertising.
So we want to be a force for good,
as well as be a force for growth.
You do a remarkable job of going behind products,
understanding every aspect of their technology.
When you do that, do you take into consideration
what that company does, beyond just make that awesome product?
MARQUES BROWNLEE: Yeah, it's interesting.
It can actually be a bit of a challenge
because I'm so focused, for me, on the product that oftentimes,
you can be a little bit blinded by the product is
so great that I'm willing to forgive shortcomings
of the company behind it.
Ideally, that's not a trade-off that a customer has to make.
They can feel comfortable once they're
picking between the best set of products for them,
knowing that they can also choose
one that has great people, and a great message,
and a great purpose behind it.
Again, if you're a company using that great product as leverage,
you don't want to use it to leverage the wrong way.
You have a great product, you can get away with bad things.
You want to use it the right way.
There's a unique set of products that comes to mind.
When you're choosing which one you want to use,
you're also able to think about the good
that you can do for your environment
as a result of using the product.
There's a benefit to you as a customer.
You're going to save money on your bill.
But also, you can help make a better positive impact
as a result of using this product.
Bringing that into messaging seems like a no-brainer,
but that's something that I think definitely will help.
MARC PRITCHARD: Oh, that's interesting.
Let me give you an example.
Tide is an obviously great product.
It's been around since the 1950s.
What they've done is they've figured out
a way to be able to clean clothes in cold water,
and it actually reduces the energy load
because most of the energy for washing clothes
is heating the water.
So it actually reduces carbon emissions.
Now, the other area that we're interested in is equality.
And we've got a long history of that.
One of our core things we focus on in all of our advertising--
the accurate portrayal of every person,
regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation,
gender identity, ability, religion, age.
If the images you're seeing are inaccurate, or stereotyped,
or objectified, or diminished, or denigrated,
that's what people start seeing as reality.
What are your thoughts on that?
MARQUES BROWNLEE: Yeah.
It's kind of interesting, actually.
I'm in tech.
It's just male-dominated in every way,
from the people running companies to the people
building things, to the people buying them-- from end to end.
For me, I always started every video with, "What's up, guys?"
and just that little thing-- you might not
think too hard about it, but right off the bat,
inclusion becomes something they think about when
you start a video that way.
So the past couple weeks, I've started the video with just,
And we'll see what that changes.
We'll see if I can look in the analytics
and see more inclusive groups of people watching the videos.
But it's definitely a challenge in tech,
and I think there's a lot more I can do.
MARC PRITCHARD: That is such an important point.
It's those very small points that
make a big difference because just "what's up,"
you've now included 50% more people.
"What's up, guys" can definitely be perceived
as something different.
Olay is one of our brands, and they've
got a campaign called Face Anything.
Big part of what they're doing is on gender equality,
but they're actually trying to get more women in tech.
And so they've got a program where they actually
help invest in women who code.
And so maybe we can bring that.
You can say, "Hey, what's up," and show Olay
and what they're doing.
A lot of what we're talking about here
is the importance of building trust with the people we serve.
With our products, we try to make sure
that people trust our brands.
Because we deliver what we promise,
they know that they're going to get a high quality product.
But you have 12 million people who are
connecting with you every day.
So you're building trust.
How do you do it?
And what do you think is important to make that happen?
MARQUES BROWNLEE: Wow.
That's a good question.
I think a lot of that comes to a consistency of truth.
So if a device comes across my plate and I think it's great,
I'll say it's great.
If I think it's bad, I also have to say it's bad.
My communication with the audience
has evolved to where my focus has
to be to be able to explain the nuances of the tech that
go really deep, but to bring it to a surface level
where someone who's not an expert in it can understand it.
MARC PRITCHARD: There are real similarities
in how we develop advertising.
What I think it misses, in many cases,
is a lot of the depth and the nuances.
I think that YouTube is a role model.
We have created videos that are sometimes
three minutes that are epic.
Most of our best, most effective ads
around being a force for good are longer than 30 seconds.
So people will watch it if it's engaging.
MARQUES BROWNLEE: That's one thing with YouTube
is if there is a community for it,
there is a big community for it.
And so not only is there a tech community,
I'm sure there's like a paper towel efficiency community,
and it's on demand.
So those people are looking for that content,
and they're going to find it, and they're
going to engage at a way higher rate there than anywhere
else probably you can find.
So that's the benefit for sure.
MARC PRITCHARD: What's the coolest product you've ever
seen come out of CES?
MARQUES BROWNLEE: I was able to do a self-driving car demo.
And so I sat in the back seat and took
a video of an empty front seat as this car drove me
around a couple miles of Las Vegas.
I think they knew, on one hand, that that would
be really impressive to people.
But on the other hand, they can get these genuine reactions
of what will people really think?
You don't get those reactions in your lab from just testing it.
MARC PRITCHARD: That's what we decided to do.
So two years ago, we kind of surprised everybody.
People were like, why is a consumer products
company coming here?
We were joking around a little bit
about or talking about the Charmin lab.
This problem we were trying to solve
was nobody wants to ever run out of toilet paper.
MARQUES BROWNLEE: Fact.
MARC PRITCHARD: So that's back to this nuance.
That's the insight and the nuance.
And what we did introduce was Freedom Roll.
Freedom Roll is the equivalent of 24 rolls in one.
So it's this giant roll.
It's like this big.
We had thought, people aren't going to buy this thing.
Are they really going to do it?
But we were shocked.
People love it because it's back to this,
we knew it's what the consumer wanted,
which is you never want to run out.
MARQUES BROWNLEE: If there's any product
you want to have a relationship with,
it's your Charmin and your Bounty.
So as long as they're doing a good job,
I think a lot of people will be happy.
MARC PRITCHARD: I've got to get you the Oral-B IO product.
It's not a self-driving car, but I
think you're going to be blown away
by it when you get to try it.
Well, thanks, Marques, for spending time with me.
It was just a great conversation about life,
about goodness, about how you can take everyday things
and just make them interesting, and make them meaningful,
and do it in such a way that is authentic.
MARQUES BROWNLEE: Thanks for chatting with me, Marc.
It's been a lot of fun.
Every time I get to have a conversation with someone who
has a different perspective on not just tech, but the world,
It's pretty valuable.
Thanks for watching it, and this has been Marquez Brownlee,