Archive for March, 2010

The Greatest Day of the Year in Marketing and Advertising

I attended the American Advertising Federation’s 61st Annual Advertising Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in New York last week.  I was a guest of my employer of 25 years, Procter & Gamble.  P&G was being inducted into the Hall of Fame as an institution, the first time this has happened in the 61 years of the Hall of Fame.  Previously this honor was reserved for individuals who have made a huge impact in the marketing industry.

I have been to this event several times, and served as its Chairman one year.  It is the best recognition event in our industry.  Its standards are very high, and each honoree’s story is told in a unique way.  It is always a personal, emotional event.

This year was no exception.  Each of the honorees speak for a few minutes, and it is priceless.  Here are some of my “takeaways’ from the lessons of these great leaders:

— Gerry Laybourne, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Oxygen Media, LLC, on the power of mentoring, which led to the creation of the Mentors Walk, now in 10 countries.  Also Gerry waxed on how the power of great advertising, led by inspired agencies, helped lead to the success of Nickelodeon and Oxygen.

Bill Lamar, Former CMO, McDonald’s USA, on the importance of family love, and at McDonald’s on the breakthrough results when teams really came together.  I also learned Bill is bent on learning new things — becoming an avid gardener and musician in this chapter of his life.

— Bob James, Former Chairman and CEO, McCann Erickson Worldwide, on “if you can conceive it you can achieve it” as the attitude that guided his career.  Also on being true to who you are as a person and institution … play to your strengths.

Roy Eaton, Former VP, Music Director, Benton & Bowles, who treated us to Chopin as I have never heard, on the impact one individual can have on a life … a mentor believed in him and literally saved his life.

Wally Snyder, President Emeritus, American Advertising Federation, on what can happen when a company, an industry, embraces multiculturalism … and on how far we have come and how far we still have to go.

Marc Pritchard, Global Brand Building Officer, P&G, on the impact in a company when leaders progress and build on what came before them, “standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Bob McDonald, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, P&G, on the power of purpose to inspire and deliver greatness, and on the need to never forget that companies thrive when the people they serve are delighted, respected, and listened to.

Pat Fallon, Chairman Emeritus, Fallon Worldwide, on how to attract talent, which drives success, and on the tone a leader sets when he or she simply never gives up … because that is what clients deserve.  Pat also beamed with pride in his five children.

— Elizabeth Arledge and Patricia Arledge Loonie, the daughters of Roone Arledge, 1931-2002, Former President, ABC Sports and Former President and Chairman, ABC News, on their lessons from Dad:  Do your best in whatever you choose to do, set your standards very high, and work hard.  Sounds like my Dad and I imagine many of yours!

Categories: Business, Marketing

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Book Deal, Company Update and UCLA

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I’d like to take this opportunity to share breaking news on my book, as well as an update on my company and my first foray into teaching at UCLA Anderson.

It’s been an exciting year+ since I left P&G. When I left, I shared with you my mission to further inspire a movement to rethink business, branding, and marketing to achieve higher performance through a focus on higher ideals.  Feedback from so many of you was very motivational to me, and it still is.

The mission is still in its early days, and there is no question it is resonating with many people on many levels.  I see it in my consulting, where I have been working with really inspirational clients in tech, fashion, retail, healthcare, and wine/spirits.  I see the idea resonating with MBA students at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where I am co-teaching with Dr. Sanjay Sood an experiential course based on a framework to achieve higher performance through higher ideals.   And I see it in the transformation of AOL,  where I have recently joined their new Board to serve and support their evolving brand ideal.

I am also very excited to announce that I have signed a book deal with Crown Business, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House.  The title is simple and says it all:  Grow.    The working subtitle is:  How the World’s Best Businesses Use the Power of Ideals to Outshine the Competition.  The book is based on a global study of businesses that grow far faster than competitors, and it will provide a new framework for businesses to apply. My goal with Grow is to provide a lasting source of inspiration, and a valued guide to action for all who read it.  We hope to have the book available by Fall, 2011.

I truly believe that businesses, brands — and the people behind them — can make a much stronger impact than they are making today.  This conviction has come from my experience with so many of you, and I thank you for that.  I hope to see many of you at the Cannes Advertising Festival this year.  I will be returning to the Festival to lead a dynamic discussion on how to grow business in our society today.

Thanks for your continued friendship, support and inspiration.

Categories: Business, Marketing, Speaking Events

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UCLA Anderson Class at TBWAChiatDay

I am almost finished my first term teaching  at UCLA Anderson.  The class has been on field trips to Rodeo Drive, Target, and TBWAChiatDay, and has been entertained and educated by speakers from DellBBDO, Marketshare Partners, P&G, and 180LA.  We finish the course this week with group student presentations on brands of their choice:  the key question is where would they take the brand based on their analysis of the brand’s beliefs, values and ideal.

Our last “teaching” class was at TBWAChiatDay in Los Angeles and it was the capstone class of the term.  Everything Professor Sanjay Sood and I have been teaching came together in this class.  Lee Clow, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer TBWAWorldwide, kicked off the day with an introductory video (Lee was with a client that day) about what he believes about branding and marketing:  Everything must emanate from the brand beliefs, and everything the brand does is media.  Told in Lee’s unique and wonderful style, the video is an instant classic.

Then TBWAChiatDay’s Erica Hoholick shared the recent Pepsi Refresh story with the class, with the key message that every brand must understand what made it great, and keep that idea modern and relevant.  Pepsi has been a catalyst for positive change throughout its history, and they are getting back to that idea.  Early results are very promising.  I love the work, it is inspired and courageous.

Next was the story of Mars Pedigree, told by Margaret Keehn of TBWAChiatDay.  This has been a brand story unfolding over the past six years, and it began with a provocative disruptive idea in the dog food category.  Instead of showing doting owners hugging dogs, with lots of “left brain” claims about dog-life longevity, Pedigree decided to communicate a simple idea. That idea is that Pedigree simply loves dogs, and all their behavior as a brand reflects that. That brand idea, or belief, led them to take on shelter dog adoption, as well as to change many of their company policies and principles to reflect this love of dogs.  The results — dramatic growth as they differentiated Pedigree on the highest ground in the category, unconditional love.

We had plenty of dialogue during the class at TBWAChiatDay about how to make ideas like these happen.  Plus we had a tour of the amazing workspace/culture (our class was held on the basketball court).   Chief Marketing Officer Laurie Coots moderated the day and provided her wisdom on issues such as organizational change, brand beliefs, and career advice.  LA Chief Creative Officer Rob Schwartz inspired the students with the Olympics Visa work and left them with the notion that only in marketing do you have the “chance to make magic happen.”

That is a great thought on which to end this blog post.  I will be back soon to continue my series on “The Ten Habits of Highly Effective Chief Marketing Officers.”

Categories: Business, Marketing

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