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No ‘Scandal’ in Diversity and Inclusion

The 4A’s Competitive Edge series featured two panel discussions as part of Advertising Week 2012 on Oct. 3 at B.B. King’s in Times Square, and each focused on building workplace cultures of diversity and inclusion.

Val DiFebo, CEO of Deutsch Inc.’s New York office, was joined by Leo Preziosi, Jr., Founder and Executive Director of Live Out Loud, an advocacy group for the LGBT community. Scott Creighton, Global VP of Marketing Excellence for Johnson & Johnson (and a Deutsch client) moderated their discussion, titled, “Our Culture, Our Business, and the Domino Effect.” Deutsch also works pro bono with Live Out Loud. In the video clip, DiFebo told The Hit Board what she considers to be the single most important aspect of fostering an inclusive business culture.

The following panel discussion, “The Real Live Scandal,” featured Washington, D.C., power lawyer Judy Smith, who is the inspiration behind the main character of ABC’s hit series “Scandal.” Geri Wang, President of ABC Sales & Marketing, was also on hand, and she and Smith talked at length about how a show featuring a strong African-American female character landed on prime-time broadcast. Sallie Mars, SVP, Chief Diversity Officer at McCann Worldgroup moderated the discussion, which included insights from Mediapost’s Editor-at-Large Barbara Lippert and Deidre Smalls-Landau, EVP, Managing Director at Identity.

Executives who participated in both sessions emphasized the importance of having an inclusive culture and its positive effect on a business’s bottom line. In the video, Judy Smith explains how “Scandal” went from a concept to a highly rated drama series.

Good Things Come to Those Who Create

This post is a report from DGC’s Claire Eisenberg, who is blogging from the Cannes Lions Festival.

We regularly look to the past as the heyday of creativity in advertising — nostalgic campaigns of the 60’s, the Mad Men craze — but in a keynote in Cannes by Kim Kadlec, Worldwide VP of Johnson & Johnson’s Global Marketing Group, she challenged us to see that the golden age of advertising has evolved to the platinum age, which is NOW. Heck, people’s pets and plants are tweeting when they’re thirsty and glass tablets that start cars are just around the corner.

Now, then it’s time to reconsider the 1960’s and the marketing mix we all remember from Marketing 101: Price. Promotion. Place. Product. Kadlec proposed a new set of the four P’s in today’s platinum age of advertising:

  Purpose

She noted that global, connected consumers are very savvy about authenticity. They want style—and substance. A few examples she cited of purposeful brands:

  •  Hipster eyewear brand Warby Parker is donating one pair of glasses to people in third-world countries for every pair they sell, an effort that resonates with their target audience.
  • J&J’s Listerine is focused on empowering underserved youth in Brazil through initiatives surrounding education, job experience and cultural attractions.

Presence

Marketers need to be where consumers live. And they need to get persona—build relationships. In the age of self-promotion, nearly everyone has an Internet presence. That’s an opportunity for marketers to engage with relevance. Examples Kadlec noted:

  • J&J’s Acuvue recently held a contest, called “1 Day Starts Today” where teens could enter for a chance to win a day with their celebrity mentor. Those who entered created a one-minute video about their number-one dream.
  • J&J’s tampon brand o.b. apologized to consumers recently for not stocking stores with their product by offering coupons and personalized serenades online.

Proximity

New technology, new apps and near-field communications enable marketers and media outlets to be in “place” with consumers 24-7, Kadlec said.

  • J&J’s Band-Aid brand partnered with Disney to create an augmented reality for kids to take their mind off of scrapes and cuts
  • To promote the TV show Glee, Fox has a mobile messaging club that sends exclusive text messages to members with information about upcoming shows and performers.

Partnership

There has never been a better time for big companies to innovate and stand out from the crowd—as a team, Kadlec noted, adding that there is strength in numbers. Here are a few key partnerships she mentioned that are under way:

  • J&J and Time Inc. will partner this fall on new ways to reach and be relevant with content that resonates with their key targets.
  • ESPN and Twitter will work together so sports fanatics can share their “game faces” online

These examples make clear that we’re experiencing an exciting time of innovation and creativity in advertising that will be remembered for decades, Kadlec said. Technology, data and consumers’ passion to collaborate make it possible for savvy marketers and media companies to create content that drives sales and brand engagement. So from Kadlec to all marketers: Become a marketer of NOW! Go bold or go home. Innovation doesn’t come from what you know, but outside of what’s expected.

 

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