Welcome to Stephen Lepitak, editor of The Drum's weekly preview of some of what is coming up in the industry and for The Drum during the next seven days.
P&G’s stance for media transparency
Last week, Procter & Gamble’s top marketer told the IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting in Florida that the company was reviewing all of its agency contracts as it moves for more transparency, taking a much-needed stand following the hullabaloo caused last year over kickbacks and general charging conduct.
The stance, part of four-point plan the business has put in place to exert greater control over the quality of its media strategy, is a major move and it will be costly to many media and marketing businesses down the line. It is also inevitably going to generate a sea-change for agencies in their mindsets. Whether they feel hard done by as a consequence of these reviews – and it’s likely other major conglomerates will announce similar measures following the response to Pritchard’s speech – the ad industry must now literally start to measure up.
The Super Bowl is over for another year – what did we learn?
If TV advertising spend is really diminishing then the Super Bowl continues to be its annual showcase moment in the US, and to an increasing degree in Europe too. But what we have seen is a shift in mind-set in terms of how advertisers engage with audiences – and in the current climate that is becoming ever more politicised.
In recent years, we have seen adverts gain traction by taking a social stand (no wonder so many now believe that brands must stand for something) and this year one of the major talking points was Budweiser’s ad telling the story of its founder while mirroring the current controversy around immigration in the country.
We have also seen a real shift away from the annual beauty parade that was aimed to attract the male audience and now appreciates that women also watch the big game too. Brands are becoming more responsible in their approach to the Super Bowl, and gaining kudos (and sales) as a result.
Listening out for The Grammys
Ahead of the ceremony taking place on Sunday, this Wednesday (8 February) sees the release of our special Grammys issue of The Drum magazine. ‘What’s so special about it?’ you may ask – well it will be placed into the artists give away bag at the awards in LA itself. The music themed issue features interviews with Aloe Blacc, where he highlights the influence that artists have on the world; a chat with MullenLowe president Geoff Cottril; Grammy winning artist Seu Jorge and also covers how brands working with bands and how bands aiming to break through can do so creatively on their own.
Do you want to win awards?
Last week The Drum held a ‘How to Win Awards’ workshop in London, which was attended by around 150 delegates who wanted to hear from industry experts on how they have managed to win accolades in the past. Highlights from the session can be watched here, but the demand was so great for attendance (sorry if you couldn’t get along) that we’ll probably run the event again later in the year so keep an eye out on our events calendar.
Also, Friday (10 February) sees the entry deadline for the Roses Creative Awards, so if you haven’t entered or want more details check out the dedicated website here.
There’s lots more happening at The Drum. If you want to receive my weekly update on what is happening in the industry and at the publication then do sign up to receive it each Monday.