Catching Up With: Procter & Gamble marketing executive Jodi Allen

Jodi Allen, P&G vice president of North American operations and marketing
Procter & Gamble expects its Olympic sponsorship to boost company sales by more than $500 million this year. To achieve that, it will have to have success in the U.S., its largest market and one that accounts for 37 percent of total sales. Jodi Allen, P&G vice president of North American operations and marketing, sat down with Tripp Mickle at the company’s hospitality house for Olympic families to talk about how it would do that.

What is the projected $500 million increase in sales based on, and how are you tracking it?

ALLEN: I’m not going to go through the specifics of how we calculate that number. I can tell you that the learnings we went through in Vancouver on what worked and what didn’t work, we’ve really taken to the next level here in London.

I look at the “Best Job” video we posted just before Mother’s Day. It already has globally over 20 million views and in the U.S. 6 million views. It continues to be viral. One in three people who see that video shares it. The most-viewed videos on YouTube are more in the neighborhood of one-to-seven, so we have twice as many people sharing that video.

How does the return-on-investment for P&G’s global sponsorship, which it signed in 2011, compare to its U.S. Olympic sponsorship in 2010 for the Vancouver Games?

ALLEN: Importantly, we know that getting retailers involved delivers ROI. In the U.S., if you look at what Walmart has done … it’s the only place you can get a custom viewing guide from NBC. That was something we worked in partnership with Walmart and NBC. They’ve gotten some customized things that have allowed them to go big with us, and at the end of the day that’s going to drive the ROI. I’m not as familiar with the specifics in other countries, but the principle of getting retailers involved is what drives ROI.

The P&G Family Home is the focal point of on-site activities in London. With a lot of U.S. citizens attending the Olympics, why didn’t P&G also set up a showcase pavilion in the Olympic Park?

ALLEN: We started with the insight that behind every great Olympian is a mom. We asked the U.S. Olympic Committee what we could best do to make the Olympians be the best they can be. They told us that the Olympians worry about what their families are doing. They worry in a foreign country … that their families won’t be taken care of. We made the tougher choice that we need to be all about the families here. Then we need to bring this home back to the U.S. We are doing a fair amount of digital activation to bring this home back to Americans in the States.

What does that entail?

At the P&G Salon, family members of U.S. athletes can get a make-over.
For example, in the Pantene and CoverGirl make-over section, if you choose, you can upload your photo and post it to Facebook and talk about what happened in the make-over session. In the Crest room, we’ve got a green screen where you can try on Olympic outfits and be a judo player or soccer player, and the green screen creates the background of you in that venue. We send the photo to you and you can choose to post it to Facebook, Twitter. In every section of the house, we have a way for you to share with families and friends back in the States. There’s a lot of fans who can’t make it here for logistics or cost reasons and we want to share the home with them as well.

How will you be tracking that?

ALLEN: We’ll be tracking it, but it’s very voluntary. It’s not so much how many people they share it with, it’s more about it being a genuine celebration.

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