Pubdate: Mon, 09 Sep 2002
Source: Advertising Age (US)
Address: 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017-4036
Contact:  2002 Crain Communications Inc.
Author: Rance Crain, Editor in Chief, Advertising Age


Advertising Versus Integrated Marketing: Which Makes More Sense?

The world of integrated marketing -- the process of reaching target 
audiences with a variety of marketing techniques -- is definitely not an 
ad-centric world, and therein lies the problem. Most ad agencies still want 
it to be, and more and more clients are looking for solutions beyond 
traditional media.

That's also the major reason the White House Office of National Drug 
Control Policy and the Partnership for a Drug Free America, the 
organizations that are supposed to be working together to slow teenage drug 
use, have ended up fighting each other at every turn.

'Comprehensive campaign'

The government sees its job as running a "comprehensive public health 
communications campaign" -- not just an ad campaign. Alan Levitt, project 
manager of the anti-drug effort, talked about how the program has a big 
Internet component and taps into the entertainment community. He added that 
Ogilvy & Mather, the controversial agency that handles media buying and ad 
evaluation among other things, lined up sports celebrities like Tara 
Lipinski and players from Women's World Cup Soccer. Alan told me that 
advertising and marketing and public health experts all told the drug 
control office that an integrated campaign was needed to change behavior, 
but he said that even so 87% of the funds have been spent on traditional 
media -- more than what most marketers allocate.

Differing opinions

On the other hand, Allen Rosenshine, chairman-CEO of BBDO Worldwide who 
serves as vice chairman of the Partnership, testified at a hearing this 
summer that while the anti-drug campaign originated with "an elegantly 
simple vision, today it attempts to adhere to an unwieldy theoretical 
construct of a fully-integrated social marketing campaign."

"The plan," he continued, "has called for achieving as many as 19 different 
strategic communications objectives via an integrated communications plan 
encompassing advertising, celebrity involvement, entertainment content, 
on-line events, corporate involvement and sponsorship and so on, with 
everything's impact evaluated by its impact on behavioral outcomes."

It all sounds good in theory, Mr. Rosenshine said, but he went on to add 
that "significant amounts of money were written off by companies 
promulgating the theories of fully integrated marketing in the 1980s, only 
to conclude what we suggest to you today. The advent of new communications 
technologies since then has only increased the appetite for theories that 
have proved ineffective and wasteful."

Making a mistake

Mr. Rosenshine, I fear, is making a big mistake by minimizing the impact of 
integration among clients -- some of which may be his own. At our Adwatch 
conference this summer, Pepsi-Cola North America President Dawn Hudson told 
how Mountain Dew and Dodge teamed for a joint promotion, but not at the 
behest of their agency, BBDO. "We share the same agency. They could have 
put us together," Ms. Hudson said. "What we're looking for is a marketing 
solution, not just an advertising solution."

And contrary to the Partnership's complaint that the drug control office 
isn't spending enough money on media, Julie Roehm, director of Dodge 
communications at the Chrysler Group, put it bluntly. "If you're only about 
30-second TV commercials, you're in big trouble. What other ways are there 
to communicate your brand promise, to connect with consumers to create that 
relationship and loyalty?" Ms. Roehm asked.

Partnership: Repeat the message

So, what we have here is that both sides agree the anti-drug campaign goes 
beyond TV commercials and draws on many other marketing disciplines. While 
the White House drug office feels the campaign is on the right track, the 
Partnership contends what's needed is to return to the single focus of 
repeating the same message over and over again and not dissipating media 
spending with other less effective promotional thrusts. The Partnership 
also feels the campaign has too many themes. Writing in the Washington 
Post, Jim Burke, the former chairman of Johnson & Johnson and current 
chairman of the Partnership, said that "with fewer messages being delivered 
to the target audience -- and with multiple themes forced into the 
advertising -- is it any wonder the campaign has had a negligible impact in 
the last two years?"

But when the drug office did what the Partnership is espousing -- run one 
campaign with the same theme over and over again -- it seemed to work, even 
if the TV spots weren't created by Partnership agencies but by Ogilvy.

I'm referring to the series of ads the drug office ran earlier this year 
linking drug use with helping terrorism. An annual survey sponsored by the 
National Parents' Resource Institute for Drug Education found that 74% of 
students surveyed said the terrorism ads made them less likely to use 
drugs. Alan also points out that the Partnership's ads using J. Walter 
Thompson Co.'s "It's not pestering, It's parenting" have been equally 

Heeding the client

Here's my take on this whole mess. Whether the Partnership likes it or not, 
the drug control office is the client, and more and more clients are 
demanding some sort of integrated effort. On the other hand, the 
Partnership has a point when its people say the anti-drug ads have been 
watered down by too many themes and strategies, although with three 
different target audiences -- kids, parents and other influences -- it 
would seem to be hard to avoid.

One change that will certainly help the drug control office and the 
Partnership is that the client -- the drug office -- for the first time has 
direct access to the creative people at the Partnership agencies.

"We're not about to produce 'reefer madness' ads," Alan said. Changing 
behavior is "much more subtle, and that's why the creative people need to 
understand the nuances and have to know so much more about the subject."

You can see the results of the new interaction starting Sept. 17, when the 
drug control office and the Partnership launch the biggest campaign against 
teenage use of marijuana in our nation's history.
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