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P&G Goes Mobile With BrandinHand

Jan 23, 2008  •  Post A Comment

A small agency is helping one of the biggest marketers to make a big splash on the small screen.
BrandinHand, an agency specializing in mobile phone marketing, last year added to its ranks Eric Bader, who had been managing director for digital at MediaVest, which handles Procter & Gamble’s digital account.
While P&G is BrandinHand’s largest client, the agency also is doing work for American Express, Lionsgate Films and a couple of others Mr. Bader said he couldn’t disclose. Total billings are $5 million, which is pretty sizable in the mobile world.
Mr. Bader started working with BrandinHand founder John Hadl when Mr. Bader was at MediaVest and Mr. Hadl was consulting with P&G on mobile projects.
“That’s somewhat rare that a company like P&G has an outsider kind of running and advising on all of their mobile,” Mr. Bader said.
Mr. Bader, now president and managing director of BrandinHand’s New York office, said P&G sees mobile as an important marketing tool.
“They are taking mobile so serious that they needed somebody who immediately had a total command of the industry, had amazing relationships and knew how to help them get their brands into mobile immediately,” Mr. Bader said.
That somebody was Mr. Hadl, CEO and founder of BrandinHand, who has been a strategic adviser to P&G since 2005.
P&G is also a key client at MediaVest, its biggest spender in digital media, Mr. Bader said.
“When I arrived at MediaVest, John and I got together working on some projects with P&G. We immediately recognized that P&G had this great interest in making mobile work and we sort of conspired together to make it into a really effective channel, knowing that a lot of people have a lot of questions about how it was supposed to work, how it worked with all their other investments in media,” he said.
Mr. Bader said he worked so well with Mr. Hadl that they decided to go into business together, working for P&G and other clients.
But P&G is the agency’s anchor. Last year, the packaged-goods giant had 35 mobile programs for 25 of its brands. This year, 50 P&G brands are going to do mobile work.
Mr. Bader plans to work closely with his former colleagues at MediaVest.
“We still have great relationships there, and that’s still absolutely critical to do this for P&G,” he said. “It won’t work if we’re not close with the agencies” so the programs are integrated with other media and marketing initiatives.
Mobile devices can deliver everything from shopping lists and coupons to opportunities for marketers to upsell and cross-sell productions.
One of P&G’s mobile projects was for its Cover Girl makeup brand. It featured a color-match system that enabled women to learn about their skin types.
“The beauty of the program is it really operates as a purchase decision driver in the aisle,” Mr. Bader said. “It says here the Cover Girl products that are best for your individual situation. And it promotes women to seek that individual product rather than sort of haphazardly try different ones that may or may not be right for them.”
The world of mobile marketing is still evolving, but Mr. Bader said he’s seen two keys to making it interesting to major advertisers.
For one thing, integrating mobile into the mix can make other media, including television, print and out-of-home, work harder by providing a response mechanism for campaigns.
“That’s a capability that hasn’t really been available to marketers all this time,” he said. “By using the one device that’s always in our pocket, that’s always with us wherever we go, if you’re being impacted by an out-of-home board and you have a way to respond to the campaign or to participate in the campaign, it drives you to think about your purchase decision.”
In that way, mobile media shortens the time between when people are exposed to advertising and the time they can act on it.
“That’s a very big breakthrough with mobile and the role that it can serve,” he said.
That also makes mobile a supplement to traditional ad forms, rather than a replacement.
“Our feeling isn’t, ‘Let’s all go take all our money out of television tomorrow and move it all into mobile,’” Mr. Bader said. “What we’re saying is so long as television, print and out-of-home are still working for you, and they’re still delivering the audience and the impressions and the exposure that you need, what we want to do is take mobile and actually create a much faster, much better customer experience for a way to activate the campaign in a way that didn’t exist before.”
Driving consumer decisions at retail is the other area of interest, and one that’s top of mind at P&G.
“A lot of the programs that we’re working on with clients [are designed to] take advantage of the fact that we all bring our mobile phones with us when we’re shopping, when we’re in a buying mode, when we’re in the aisle, when we’re out on the street [or] we’re out doing our errands,” he said.
Programs will let consumers know that if a certain product is on his or her shopping list, which are on sale, what other products might complement what’s on the list and other information of value or interest.
“We’re really fired up about it,” he said.

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