Mobile Marketing Isn’t About Devices, It’s About Behavior – thnxz to @annabager


Vía adage.com

Marketers can’t remember this often enough: Mobile is not one screen or two screens. Or three screens (smartphone, tablet, and e-reader). Or four (ultrabook). Or five (phablet). Or six (fill in the blank with whatever connected device consumers will be flocking to next.)

Google Glass? The Apple iWatch? Mobile is a behavior. The only common thread uniting the vast and diverse mobile arena is that consumers are taking a connected device with them on the go. 

By: Anna Bager

(Abstract…)

Some of the most forward-thinking creatives and mobile leaders have begun to answer these questions, creating campaigns and products that demonstrate “liquid creativity,” mobile creative that flows like a liquid across devices and fits flexibly into the distinct opportunities each has available. IAB is featuring these people and their accomplishments  at our June 18 session at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity entitled “Liquid Creativity: Secrets of the Mobile Superstars.”

(…) Full article? + INFO

Responsive design often comes up as an answer to liquid creativity. This is the idea that a web server can recognize the device in which it is supposed to render content, and make adjustments for qualities like screen size. But do we trust computers to make decisions about ad content? Do marketers still want to approve each permutation of an ad? Responsive design can disrupt long-held norms of digital advertising.

(…)

Flexibility is an pportunity. Marketers need to approach mobile not by device, but by their individual objectives. Select the ideal combination of right time, right environment and right consumer, and then incorporate whichever device or devices best serve the intention.

(…) Full article? + INFO

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Bager is Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau).

How Pampers Battled Diaper Debacle

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Around 10 a.m. on May 6, an employee passing by a TV monitor in Procter & Gamble’s Winton Hill complex in Cincinnati noticed a shot of Pampers Cruisers on CNN with the word “Dangerous?

It’s hard to say whether that was the precise moment the flap over the product’s new Dry Max escalated from Facebook flare-up to mainstream-media conflagration. But when the team monitoring and responding to the brand’s growing number of social-media critics got wind of the alert, it seemed as if the mainstream crossover moment they feared had arrived.


The Procter & Gamble Company
Image via Wikipedia

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Around 10 a.m. on May 6, an employee passing by a TV monitor in Procter & Gamble‘s Winton Hill complex in Cincinnati noticed a shot of Pampers Cruisers on CNN with the word “Dangerous?

It’s hard to say whether that was the precise moment the flap over the product’s new Dry Max escalated from Facebook flare-up to mainstream-media conflagration. But when the team monitoring and responding to the brand’s growing number of social-media critics got wind of the alert, it seemed as if the mainstream crossover moment they feared had arrived. Leer más “How Pampers Battled Diaper Debacle”

Doing That Crap Is Going to Cost You

Crappy work can suck the life out of an agency and the money out of a client’s budget.

What is this “crappy work” of which I speak? That’s the hard part — defining it. I have struggled with coming up with a solid definition for crappy work. It isn’t any one type of account or job. Most of us really don’t know if an assignment is crappy until we’re handed the brief or attend a meeting. Generally speaking, we’re talking about assignments with so many restrictions and mandates that there’s no room for anything except to execute the client’s directions — in other words, the agency becomes no more than set of hands. We’re talking assignments where there’s no room for developing an insight or understanding that will deliver for clients the results they want and deserve.


Agencies (and Clients) Pay More for Shoddy Work

Posted by Derek Walker

Derek  Walker
Derek Walker

Paying more doesn’t get a client better work. In reality, crappy work tends to cost both the agency and the client more, a lot more than anyone realizes.

Oops. Uh … Attention all clients!! Please stop reading, and proceed to another post or article. This is insider information — agency eyes only! Please come back next post.

OK now that the clients are gone, let’s talk about one of the greatest lies in advertising — that great work costs more to come up with than crappy work. Leer más “Doing That Crap Is Going to Cost You”

Making an Agency Digital to the Core

Hard to believe, but two years ago people were debating the merits between traditional and digital agencies, as if they had to choose between blue states and red states. Jump ahead to today, and most small agencies have carved out their own path. They have found a way to be true to their roots and have also made huge strides in their commitment to digital marketing. Digital vs. traditional no longer seems like a religious war.


Why Digital Natives Are an Essential Ingredient

Posted by Phil Johnson

Phil  Johnson
Phil Johnson

I continue to be fascinated by how agencies change and how extraordinarily hard this can be to accomplish. Regardless of the difficulty, it’s an essential agency survival skill. Great agencies learn how to continually reinvent themselves to the core, while merely good agencies often only change their outward structure. In some ways this pursuit of change, particularly as agencies define their relevance in the digital world, has been the great advertising drama of the last two years. Leer más “Making an Agency Digital to the Core”

Thanks to Social Media, Direct Marketing Is Going Do-It-Yourself

“People have an innate desire to connect, and while that can mean social media, it also means in person,” said Leslie Poston, founder of the Uptown Uncorked consultancy, which counts independent filmmakers, wine makers and restaurants among its client base. “The interesting thing about a great social-media campaign is it has to have an offline component. The whole point is to get people together.”


How More and More People Are Bypassing Agencies and Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands

By Judann Pollack and Beth Synder Bulik

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Musician Phil Marshall has performed for stadiums of 24,000. Now he’s setting out on a tour where he’ll play for audiences conceivably as small as one.

Phil Marshall wants to play your town.
Phil Marshall wants to play your town.

Mr. Marshall’s “Living Room Concert Series,” in which he’ll bring his act to backyards, lunchrooms, birthday parties — you name it — for a nominal fee is just one in a series of creative do-it-yourself marketing initiatives among entrepreneurs from book authors to murder-mystery theater companies to bring their brands directly into the homes of consumers. Leer más “Thanks to Social Media, Direct Marketing Is Going Do-It-Yourself”

Special Report: 80 Years of Ideas – Advertising Age (2)


Advertising Age: 80 Years of Ideas

Advertising Age: 80 Years of Ideas

We Look at the Events, Brands and Trends That Have Shaped Marketing — and the Ones Still to Come

When Ad Age published its first issue in 1930, the stock market had just tanked, and a Great Depression was only beginning. Consumer spending plunged 41% from 1929 to the Depression’s 1933 nadir. A problem for consumer marketing, media and advertising? Actually, a remarkable opportunity. <!–FULL ARTICLE–>

Ad Age Video

Covering the Mad Men: Advertising Age at 40

Covering the Mad Men: Advertising Age at 40

Recounting Ad Age’s History in 1970

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Back when Don Draper was swilling Scotch in his corner office, debating how to solve Lucky Strike‘s marketing conundrums, Ad Age was all over in the industry. And it was no young pub — in 1970 the publication was already 40 years old. <!–FULL ARTICLE–>

From the Great Depression Through the Great Recession: A Brief  History of Marketing

From the Great Depression Through the Great Recession: A Brief History of Marketing

A Look at 80 Highlights From Ad Age’s First 80 Years, Compiled From Our Archives, Ad Age’s Encyclopedia of Advertising and Additional Research

Ad Age’s Bradley Johnson presents a timeline of marketing, media and ad agencies, showing advertising industry developments from 1930 through 2010. <!–FULL ARTICLE–>

Back to the Future: Have We Lived Up to Expectations of  Advertising?

Back to the Future: Have We Lived Up to Expectations of Advertising?

From 1977, the Late Biochemist and Science Fiction Legend Isaac Asimov Foretells the Ad Future in 2000

In 1977, Ad Age ran biochemist and science-fiction author Isaac Asimov’s piece forecasting what the advertising “future” would be like in 2000. We’ve reprinted it for our 80th birthday. <!–FULL ARTICLE–>

The Cold Truth: No One Does Veggies Quite Like Birds Eye

The Cold Truth: No One Does Veggies Quite Like Birds Eye

Brand’s Identity as a Leader in Frozen Vegetables Stands the Test of Time, and It’s Done So With Little Marketing

CHICAGO (AdAge.com) — Clarence Birdseye didn’t just invent the commercialized flash-freezing process that kept garden greens tasty and convenient for weeks on end; he built the frozen-food category and its infrastructure, including grocery freezer cases and insulated train cars for their safe transport. <!–FULL ARTICLE–>

Motorola's Longevity Lies in Its Simple Approach

Motorola’s Longevity Lies in Its Simple Approach

Brand’s Unique Ability to Produce Wide Range of Products Is Secret to Success

CHICAGO (AdAge.com) — Given it’s been around for 80 years, sells to businesses, governments and consumers and has also historically been best-known for many products it no longer makes, Motorola’s brand continues to offer a surprisingly simple — and enduringly effective — proposition. <!–FULL ARTICLE–>

Value Of McCann's Industry Influence? Priceless

Value Of McCann’s Industry Influence? Priceless

Groundbreaking Global Strategies, Innovative Operations Set Pioneer Agency Apart From the Rest

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — From the start, McCann Erickson proved itself a pioneer in the ad business, beating other networks to the globalization trend of the 1980s by several decades. <!–FULL ARTICLE–>

Snickers Uses Humor to Satisfy Generations of Hunger

Snickers Uses Humor to Satisfy Generations of Hunger

World’s Best-Selling Candy Bar Has Differentiated Itself With the Idea That It’s More Than Just a Chocolate Snack

CHICAGO (AdAge.com) — Talk about a depression baby with staying power: Snickers, introduced in 1930, is a $2 billion brand proposition today. <!–FULL ARTICLE–>

Fisher-Price Plays, Laughs and Grows Into Global Brand

Fisher-Price Plays, Laughs and Grows Into Global Brand

Toy Company Founded in Depression Has Evolved Into ‘Children’s Product Company’ With Multiple Integrations

YORK, Pa. (AdAge.com) — For Fisher-Price, what began as toddler toy-making has grown up into a global brand that is now part of the Mattel empire. <!–FULL ARTICLE–>

Fortune Rides the Booms and Busts of Business

Fortune Rides the Booms and Busts of Business

Once-Ambitious Idea Has Consistently Covered the Ups and Downs While Feeling Them Itself

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Much like Ad Age, Fortune began life at about the worst possible time for a new business: the dawn of the Great Depression. But it was born, in reality, of success, namely the recent triumph of Henry Luce’s then-young Time magazine, founded in 1923. <!–FULL ARTICLE–>

Tums Brand, Like Acid Indigestion, Is Timeless

Tums Brand, Like Acid Indigestion, Is Timeless

Antacid Thrives in Its Journey From Accidental Remedy to Trusted Household Name Remembered Fondly for Jingle

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — “Tums, Tum-Tum-Tum, Tums!” That famous jingle, set to the dramatic opening bars of the theme from the TV show “Dragnet,” just might be what people remember most about Tums, the famous antacid that was born the same year as Advertising Age. <!–FULL ARTICLE–>

Twinkies: Sweet Treat Continues to Delight

Twinkies: Sweet Treat Continues to Delight

Though It’s Had Its Share of Criticism, Cream-Filled Snack Still Takes the Cake When It Comes to Consumer Demand

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Twinkies have inspired love, curiosity and criticism, not to mention a cookbook, campaign reform and plenty of urban legends in the 80 years since James A. Dewar created them. <!–FULL ARTICLE–>

The Most Influential Brands of 2090

Media Guy’s Grandson Reports From the Future (No Hot-Tub Time Machine Required!)

Apparently “Media Guy” Grandpa Simon wrote a lot of so-called listicles. So when Ad Age asked me to come up with a list of some of the most influential brands of 2090 — and to look back at where they were 80 years ago (if they were even around back then) — I jumped at the chance. <!–FULL ARTICLE–>

Up in Smoke: Documents From the Annals of Tobacco Marketing

Up in Smoke: Documents From the Annals of Tobacco Marketing

A Collection of Internal Memos, Press Releases and Reports That Changed the Way Cigarettes Were Sold

CHICAGO (AdAge.com) — Advertising Age’s 80th anniversary report includes three major tobacco-related events. Here is a sampling of documents related to those events.

http://adage.com/adage80/

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Advertising Age: 80 Years of Ideas – Advertising Age – Special Report: 80 Years of Ideas


We Look at the Events, Brands and Trends That Have Shaped Marketing — and the Ones Still to Come

When Ad Age published its first issue in 1930, the stock market had just tanked, and a Great Depression was only beginning. Consumer spending plunged 41% from 1929 to the Depression’s 1933 nadir.

Ad Age's first issue, from 1930.
Ad Age’s first issue, from 1930.

A problem for consumer marketing, media and advertising? Actually, a remarkable opportunity.

In this report, we profile great brands that made their debuts in 1930 and went on to be market leaders: Fortune and Fisher-Price, Motorola and McCann Erickson, Twinkies and Tums. And in an accompanying timeline, we assemble 80 highlights from 80 years.

The past offers key lessons. First: There is never a bad time to launch a great product or company. (The biggest opportunities on the internet were born of or after the dot-com crash. Just ask Google and Facebook.)

Second: Failure is a cost of business. When Apple‘s first wireless device (1993’s Newton) flopped, Ad Age noted, “The category may give a new twist to Newton’s law: Products may be falling now, but the category is still poised to soar — eventually. … Smart money still is betting on long-term prospects for wireless portable communications devices.” Apple came back with iPod (2001), iPhone (2007) and iPad (2010).

Third: The best marketers, media firms and agencies boast an outstanding ability to reinvent themselves and lead their changing markets decade after decade.

The best example is Procter & Gamble Co.; see our 1931, 1980 and 1994 entries. And just last week, P&G rightfully became the first corporation inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Fame.

Ad Age has covered the rise of new media — again and again: Radio, which went from essentially zero to 55% household penetration in 12 years; TV (0.4% to 55% penetration in six years); cable (6% to 50% in 19 years); internet (broadband penetration soared from 1.7% to 54% in eight years).

We’ve tracked the emergence of new technologies: Refrigerators (from 15% household penetration to 50%-plus during the 1930s); wireless phones (a 22-year ride from 1983 debut to 50% household penetration). We’ve also witnessed how innovators can build remarkable businesses around emerging media and technologies. Cable? Ted Turner. Refrigerators? Birds Eye frozen foods. Computers? Bill Gates’ and Paul Allen’s Micro-Soft.

Ad Age’s 12-page debut issue mentions some now-faded brands such as Saturday Evening Post and Plymouth cars.

But the issue also notes brands that are very much in the game today: Time, The New Yorker, Quaker Oats, Buick, NBC. And Gillette, which at the time was preparing to launch a new-and-improved razor and blade.

http://adage.com

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Marketers: It’s Your Fault if Your Ad Agencies Flounder – Advertising Age – CMO Strategy


Forrester Study Finds Client Companies Must Take the Reins in Digital World Rather Than Wait for Shops To

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Eighteen months ago, Honda‘s chief marketing officer Steve Center wanted to curtail what he felt was the company’s overemphasis on print marketing materials to communicate with customers.

STEVE CENTER: Honda CMO prodded his agency to think more  digitally.
STEVE CENTER: Honda CMO prodded his agency to think more digitally.

But rather than hunt for a hot new digital shop, Mr. Center requested that his lead agency, California-based RPA, restructure to replace its brochure-marketing group with a digital-marketing hub. “They saw that brochures can come out of all digital assets you’re creating, and that’s not to mention the digital brochures and things you’re doing online,” said Mr. Center. He’s now convinced that his relationship with RPA is stronger and that Honda is using its creative assets and messaging more efficiently.

While it sounds like a simple request from a client to its agency, the Honda-RPA example is a sign that brands may need to take charge of their agency partnerships. Simply put, if marketers are counting on their agencies to lead them into a world of changing consumer behaviors and media habits, they should think again.

As digital-marketing channels multiply, agencies are struggling to figure out their own businesses, and a recent Forrester study suggests that marketers may need to force their agencies to evolve rather than wait for them to do it themselves.

Ad Age got a peek at the 16-page study, called “The Future of Agency Relationships,” for which Forrester spent nearly four months interviewing agency and marketing executives.

Strain
In it, Forrester says that over the past few years the already-complex agency-marketer relationship has been significantly altered by factors such as the recession and the rise of social media, resulting in agencies quickly trying to expand their offerings, sometimes promising capabilities they are unable to deliver, and even more agency partners at an already-crowded marketing table.

Sean Corcoran, an analyst at Forrester and lead author of the report, said one of the biggest challenges marketers face today is how to know who to turn to when they want to change their ad strategies. He said it’s further complicated by the fact that the unbundled world of traditional, PR, interactive, media and direct agencies, in some cases, are trying to “bundle themselves back up” to become jacks of all trades.

“It’s up to marketing leaders to change the demand,” Mr. Corcoran said. “They can’t just flip a switch and have things change. But they can lay some groundwork for the changes happening in marketing today.”

Peter Stringham has worn both hats as the current CEO at WPP’s Y&R Brands unit and the former CMO at HSBC Bank. He recalls a huge disconnect between marketer and agency when he was on the client side and believes it is exacerbated today thanks to the rise of new media.

“Clients really have to accelerate quickly up the learning curve and get involved in social media,” said Mr. Stringham. “As a CMO you want the agency to stick to what they can do and not promise things they can’t accomplish. They will tell you they can build a rocket ship and fly it to the moon. But especially today, with the specialized skill sets that are required, you’re better off saying you don’t do this very well … let’s go get someone else to help us handle this.”

Collaboration
Moving forward, more often than not, marketers will have a slew of shops managing their business, and it’s imperative to get them to play nice together. Bob Greenberg, CEO of Interpublic Group of Cos.-owned digital agency R/GA, said only some marketers are doing a good job of this, but the future of the business requires all of them to improve in this area. “Agencies have been designed to be fiercely competitive, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it makes it more difficult to collaborate,” he said. “Not only does the client have to lead the relationship, but they also have to force collaboration.”

According to Honda’s Mr. Center, in many cases, stubborn or shortsighted marketers have been the cause of the lack of progress or results that are often blamed on the agency.

“Agencies are exposed to much more than us, and they have to bring in raw ideas, market reconnaissance and intelligence,” he said. “But they will not tell us how to organize our company to accomplish our marketing mission. That responsibility should always fall entirely with the owner of the brand.”

How to lay the foundation for your agency house

Redefine the role of agencies. Strip away above- and below-the-line restrictions and allow ideas and leadership to come out of any agency you have under contract.

Test partners from the non-agency world. Try letting companies like Google, Sapient and Akamai Technologies deliver media and marketing services. Having resources that continually monitor the space and looking beyond traditional “agencies” for help is important. Have an internal resource stationed between marketing and procurement that can regularly evaluate outsourced skills and tools that can be used for marketing.

Create a productive relationship with procurement. The complaint voiced by many agency people today is that procurement teams treat them just like the vendors who clean the carpets. “If you grind the margin out of your agency you will get a marginal agency,” Honda CMO Steve Center said.

Test incentive-based compensation. Eventually marketers will have the ability to more easily quantify an agency’s performance but until then Forrester recommends testing incentive-based compensation so the agency has more skin in your business. “They will be more likely to help you hit your overall goals than just focusing on their world only,” Forrester’s Mr. Corcoran said. This way the agency wins and loses when the brand wins and loses.

Start the process in more advanced markets such as the U.S. and U.K. Different regions move at different speeds through the globe and Forrester believes it’s important to start restructuring agency relationships in markets that can handle it. Marketers can then take those lessons and apply them in other markets such as China, India and Brazil.

http://adage.com/cmostrategy/article?article_id=143010

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P&G Plots Growth Path Through Services


The Procter & Gamble Company
Image via Wikipedia

In Brand-Saturation Age, Major Marketers Turn to Franchising and Other Models

By Jack Neff

BATAVIA, Ohio (AdAge.com) — Procter & Gamble Co. got to be an $80 billion company and the world’s-largest marketer almost entirely by selling goods, but it’s increasingly looking to services ranging from concierge physicians to car washes and dry cleaners to fuel its thirst for growth.

MR. CLEAN: P&G now has 15 car washes in Cincinnati and Atlanta  and plans to expand.
MR. CLEAN: P&G now has 15 car washes in Cincinnati and Atlanta and plans to expand.

It’s a big thirst. When every percentage point of growth now requires around $800 million in new sales, P&G can’t afford to leave many stones unturned, including service and franchising models. At the same time, the challenge in this age of brand saturation — to create growth beyond simply selling more stuff — is a problem other marketers will increasingly face if the economic recession indeed moves people away from the conspicuous consumption that marked better times.

Chairman-CEO Bob McDonald sees the service mentality increasingly infusing what his conventional package-goods brands do.

“I think service is yet an untapped area for us,” Mr. McDonald said in a January interview. “We’re active in franchising now with Mr. Clean car washes and Tide Dry Cleaners. MDVIP [concierge physician service] is a service operation. But we’re also working on services on our existing brands, for example, where you walk up to the shelf, take a picture of the UPC code on your phone, and you can download information about the ingredients in that product, which you as an environmentalist may care about.”

P&G is far from the only mega-marketer increasingly expanding its business model in a search for growth. P&G’s biggest customer, retail behemoth Walmart, last month bought video streaming startup Vudu and last week announced it opened its 1000th MoneyCenter check-cashing and bill-payment outlet and plans to open another 500. Google, when it’s not organizing all the world’s information, is entering all the world’s digital and media categories. And Apple, having become the world’s-largest music retailer, looks to become a dominant presence in book and magazine publishing as well via the iPad.

Curious bets
Mr. McDonald said service is “part of our broader purpose,” noting, “It’s fair game for us, and we need to learn more about it. We’ve got to grow; that’s the main thing.”

While being big has the drawback of requiring big numbers to generate growth, he said, it also means P&G can afford to “place some bets that might not be so obvious from the outside.”

One of those is MDVIP, a concierge-physician service in which participating primary-care doctors cut their patient loads roughly 75% to 600 patients or fewer. They provide premium service that includes annual hourlong physicals, electronic medical records on a CD, personal websites and preventive-care plans and the promise of on-time appointments for a $1,500 to $1,800 annual fee.

P&G bought 49% of MDVIP in 2007 as it looked to explore new avenues in health care as its own and other prescription-drug businesses slowed. Late last year it bought the other 51%, so far making a profit on the investment, Mr. McDonald said, though P&G is not really interested in the short-term trade. Leer más “P&G Plots Growth Path Through Services”

Unilever Puts in Face Time With the Chinese Consumer


Ad Age Tags Along With Greater China Chairman Alan Jope as He Examines the Aspirations, Buying Habits of a Middle-Class Family

Posted by Normandy Madden

SHANGHAI (AdAge.com) — Alan Jope’s schedule last week illustrates the importance of the Chinese market for multinationals in almost every industry.

ON-THE-SPOT ADJUSTMENTS: After Alan Jope learned that Zu Quingrong  couldn't understand the entire Omo range of laundry products, he told  staff to ramp up improved packaging designs.
ON-THE-SPOT ADJUSTMENTS: After Alan Jope learned that Zu Quingrong couldn’t understand the entire Omo range of laundry products, he told staff to ramp up improved packaging designs.

Unilever’s chairman for Greater China had dinner dates in Shanghai with Fortune 500 CEOs including Omnicom Group CEO John Wren and a visiting U.K. government minister.

But the meeting on his agenda most likely to help Unilever achieve its 20% revenue-growth goal this year was not with an elite power broker. It was an afternoon he spent hanging out with Zu Qingrong, a 41-year-old woman from Dalian, a city in northeast China.

Ms. Zu is one of dozens of Chinese men and women who have allowed Mr. Jope into their homes since he moved to China in April 2009.

An outgoing, curious Scotsman, Mr. Jope pries into their daily lives, asking about hygiene practices, internet-surfing habits, finances and child-care philosophies, along with fears and dreams. And, of course, he asks how and where they consume food and personal-care products. Sometimes the conversation even turns to topics such as political beliefs and extramarital affairs — nothing is off-limits. After these visits, Mr. Jope will tell managers to switch dollars to online advertising, tweak packaging or the like.

On the ground
To show just how valuable these first-hand encounters are for China’s second-biggest advertiser after Procter & Gamble, Mr. Jope invited Advertising Age to tag along on his visit to Ms. Zu’s home. We were joined by Unilever Senior Brand Manager Subrina Liu and Kitty Lun, chairman-CEO, China at Lowe Worldwide, which handles creative for brands such as Omo detergent and Lux.

“It’s easy to distance ourselves from consumers in this ivory tower,” said Mr. Jope, with a sweeping gesture toward Unilever’s modern and airy 22,000 square-meter regional headquarters in Shanghai, with an even bigger R&D center across the street.

“I try to do some sort of consumer connect monthly, usually in combination with a market visit to a customer or retail check outside Shanghai,” he said. That’s a routine he’s followed since joining Unilever in 1985. He’s been inside hundreds of homes in developed nations including the U.S., U.K., France and Germany, and in emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Mexico, Colombia and Senegal. He once spent 24 hours with a Muslim family living outside Jakarta, Indonesia.

Today’s session is with a bubbly middle-class woman who lives in Shanghai with her husband, an engineer for Philips, and their 8-year-old daughter.

The lively and self-confident daughter of a Chinese navy captain and a doctor, Ms. Zu works as a freelance consultant advising parents about overseas study options for their children. She has never left China but craves the opportunity to travel abroad and insists on conversing with Mr. Jope in English “to practice.”

Comfortable life
The Zu household’s monthly income of $2,200 is high but not uncommon for a tier-one city like Shanghai, where incomes are steadily rising, making it easier for consumers to afford international brands such as Lux shampoo and Walls ice cream.

The Zus can’t afford a car “yet,” but their lifestyle is comfortable. They have three computers — a laptop for each parent and a desktop for their daughter — as well as satellite TV and wireless internet access. Her husband has a Nokia E71 smartphone while Ms. Zu has two phones, including a Sony Ericsson.

Ms. Zu goes online for e-mail, Skype calls to overseas friends, and news and beauty tips on 163.com, China’s biggest site. She chats with other moms on online bulletin boards. She’s afraid to shop online, so a work colleague organizes her purchases on Alibaba’s Taobao.com site — mainly food, clothing and cosmetic brands from Dalian.

She uses QQ.com, Tencent’s popular instant-messaging platform, to organize weekend dinners and soccer games with old friends from Dalian who also live in Shanghai. Her husband, meanwhile, spends hours online each evening playing games and downloading music.

Heavy use of digital media is common across China, a discovery Mr. Jope made during his very first home visit last spring. He immediately instructed every division head in China to devote at least 10% of their media budgets to online media. Leer más “Unilever Puts in Face Time With the Chinese Consumer”