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P&G's Careful Planning Led to Pantene's Powerful Twitter Program



Kevin Crociata
Marketing Director, North America Haircare
Procter & Gamble’s Pantene

Rotha Penn (not pictured)
Communications Manager, US Haircare
Procter & Gamble’s Pantene

Pantene’s #WantThatHair Twitter program for the Oscars in February 2013 took the kind of unplanned twist that only an agile marketing team can be ready for, according to Kevin Crociata, marketing director of haircare, North America, and Rotha Penn, communications manager, US haircare, for the Procter & Gamble brand. Crociata and Rotha spoke to eMarketer’s Danielle Drolet about the real-time marketing effort for Pantene undertaken during the awards show.

eMarketer: How did you develop #WantThatHair?

Kevin Crociata: One of the key things we keep in mind when deciding if we’re going to enter a conversation is relevance ... If you watched the red-carpet show, it’s the hair and the dress that everybody talks about. We wanted to find a way to be a part of that. With #WantThatHair we had an idea and angle for playing with it. If there’s a look on the red carpet and you want that hair, we have a way to get you that hair with our Pantene products.

eMarketer: Can you walk me through how it was executed the night of the Oscars?

Crociata: We had what we called a war room for the event, as well as for the weekend leading up to it. Then in real time as the event was unfolding, we posted and tweeted in reaction to what was going on in the show to take advantage of the multiscreen environment in which women were watching and following the broadcast.

“If there’s a look on the red carpet and you want that hair, we have a way to get you that hair with our Pantene products.”

Rotha Penn: We did something similar for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, too. For a lot of our brands, when there are these big, real moments in time, we enable a war room with an agile marketing team to sit and monitor the situation and the conversations that are going on and then respond to consumers with relevant content.

eMarketer: What surprised you?

Penn: You can prepare all you want, but sometimes the conversation moves in a different path and you have to be ready for that. That’s why it’s very helpful that you work as an integrated brand-building team. If you saw the Oscars, you probably saw that a lot of men had long hair, so the conversation went to men, which we couldn’t have predicted. But because we were all together in a room, we were able to leverage that conversation and enter into that conversation in a relevant way with our products.

eMarketer: What results did you see?

Penn: In total, the #WantThatHair Twitter program delivered an estimated 41.9 million impressions in three days. Meanwhile, Pantene and #WantThatHair received an estimated 28 million impressions on Oscar Sunday. It also drove a Promoted Tweet engagement rate of 4.7% that blew Twitter’s CPG benchmark of 1.5% out of the water.

At the peak of the night, #WantThatHair was being mentioned 350 times per minute and Pantene was mentioned 35 times per minute. Pantene (a nonsponsor) had 120-plus-percent lift vs. a sponsor brand that showed a 74% lift [according to data from BlueFin, a social TV analytics company].

eMarketer: How are you defining real-time marketing?

Crociata: We’re continuing to learn and evolve. We learned a lot with the Oscars event. But we’re thinking about and picking moments where we can be relevant and engaging with the content we’re creating because there’s not going to be 20 of them a year. There’s an opportunity to do a few big, impactful ones, making sure we’re relevant at the time, but [we also need to] have content that’s ongoing.

eMarketer: Some are saying the current way of developing creative is broken. That it’s too rigid and too long of a process to work for real-time marketing. Is that something you agree with?

“You can prepare all you want, but sometimes the conversation moves in a different path and you have to be ready for that.”

Crociata: No, I wouldn’t say it’s broken. I’d say it needs to evolve to catch up with the new tools. A Facebook post could be equivalent to a great print ad of the past, but you have to think about it as a feed in someone’s mobile device, vs. a landing page that they may go to. That’s just one example, but it’s still important to use those creative minds to create a great visual and a snappy headline together.

eMarketer: When developing real-time creative are you using templates or predeveloped material?

Crociata: You have to have a bit of both. Honestly, you’ve got to be at a minimum of 50% planned upfront. But even with the Oscars program, we had an illustrator there live, but we didn’t know we were going to be drawing men’s hair styles before the show. When a lot of those looks rolled up, we had a content plan to get at that in real time and create some engaging work.


A longer version of this interview is available to eMarketer corporate subscribers only. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a corporate subscriber, click here.


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