Tide’s Brand Safety Problem Is Back as Pods Memes Surge

Just when it almost looked safe for Procter & Gamble Co. to advertise on YouTube again, the meme "eating Tide Pods" has surged again on social media. Videos that seem to show people biting the appealingly designed, highly toxic, concentrated laundry detergent products, which have been around since 2012, have suddenly become hot, such as one showing "furries" (people who like to dress in animal costumes) using Tide Pods as a pizza topping. The new memes that emerged on YouTube and elsewhere come as P&G considers a return to the platform after pulling the plug on paid placements there last year over brand-safety concerns. It's not clear whether this will influence the decision. Continue reading at AdAge.com

Mr. Mucus Gets a Chatbot Thanks to WebMD, Which Grows Its RB Partnership

Now you can talk to Mr. Mucus, in a sense, via chatbot, thanks to WebMD and the latest wrinkle in its long-running partnership with RB (Reckitt Benckiser). The chatbot is part of a growing artificial-intelligence effort from WebMD, an outgrowth of voice programs developed last year to work with Amazon Echo and Google Home. Perhaps sadly, Mr. Mucus doesn't actually engage in the conversation. But folks looking up cold and flu symptoms on WebMD will be prompted by the chatbot to, say, ask any questions they have about the ailments, along with branded Mucinex queries about how to treat cough or congestion symptoms. While "partnership" gets thrown around too liberally in marketing, what's been going on the past six years between WebMD and RB fits the description. The medical information site is one of RB's original media "joint business planning" partners along with the likes of Facebook, meaning its executives Continue reading "Mr. Mucus Gets a Chatbot Thanks to WebMD, Which Grows Its RB Partnership"

’46 Days Left’: P&G’s Marc Pritchard on the State of His Digital Ultimatum

Time's almost up for major digital ad sellers to show that they've improved, Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard said at Ad Age Next on Wednesday. And that includes big-time players such as Amazon. Hear his take as a year-long ultimatum nears the deadline as well as P&G's latest acquisition in this interview with Jack Neff, following their talk onstage. Continue reading at AdAge.com

Dollar Shave Club CMO Bets Online Estate Sales Can Be Next Big Thing

Former Procter & Gamble Co. marketer Adam Weber spent five years haunting his old employer, marketer of Gillette, as chief marketing officer of Dollar Shave Club. Now he's back in Cincinnati betting that online estate sales will be the Next Big Thing. Weber is the new CMO of Everything But the House, an e-commerce player that's rolling up the fragmented estate-sale business. Now operating out of more than 20 warehouses nationwide, EBTH takes merchandise from estate sales or people downsizing to smaller homes and sells it through online auctions. Every item starts at a dollar bid. "It's the best brand in e-commerce that almost nobody has ever heard of," Weber says. Almost entirely through word of mouth, EBTH has grown since 2007 to reach a million bidders in 150 countries. The site does more than 350 estate sales monthly, selling 75,000 items through 1.3 million bids, he says. Continue Continue reading "Dollar Shave Club CMO Bets Online Estate Sales Can Be Next Big Thing"

P&G Slashes Digital Ads by $140M Over Brand Safety. Sales Rise Anyway

Procter & Gamble's concerns about where its ads were showing up online contributed to a $140 million cutback in the company's digital ad spending last quarter, the company said Thursday. That helped the world's biggest advertiser beat earnings expectations. Perhaps even more noteworthy, however, organic sales outperformed both analyst forecasts and key rivals at 2% growth despite the drop in ad support. P&G didn't call out YouTube, the subject of many marketers' ire earlier this year, in its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings release, but did say digital ad spending fell because of choices to "temporarily restrict spending in digital forums where our ads were not being placed according to our standards and specifications." Those cuts amounted to nearly a percentage point of profit margin for the quarter, with cuts to agency and production fees further boosting profits. Continue reading at AdAge.com

Ad Industry Group May Consider Tougher 100% Standard for Digital Ad Viewability

Half an ad has been enough to comprise a digital "view" according to the industry's Media Rating Council for the past three years, but the group may consider toughening its oft-maligned standard to require every single ad pixel displays. That would close some of the "viewability" gap between the industry standard and the much stricter requirements of enormous ad buyers including Unilever and GroupM. They would effectively align on display ads, where GroupM already demands that 100% of an ad shows on-screen for any amount of time and the Media Rating Council has required 50% to appear in view for at least one second. And it would get them closer on video. GroupM needs every pixel of a video ad to appear on-screen for at least half the purchased time or 30 seconds, whichever is longer, and requires consumers to press play. MRC requires half of a video ad to Continue reading "Ad Industry Group May Consider Tougher 100% Standard for Digital Ad Viewability"