If you had any question about the future of Facebook and it’s ability to make a dent in the television advertising business, look no further than Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest global advertiser. With a 2009 advertising expenditure of $9.73 billion, P&G has the greatest influence in global marketing. So what was the company saying at today’s “Innovation Outreach Venturing Day” in the Bay Area? Facebook is the future.
According to David Hornik, P&G is sees a brilliant future ahead for Facebook. In fact, they are so bullish on Facebook that they believe the company is on track to reach “5 billion people”. Read the excerpt from David’s post:
It was particularly interesting to see how bullish they are on Facebook. In a small group discussion about social media, one of P&G’s technology leaders talked about Facebook’s growth trajectory and how they are on a path to serve 5 billion people. Accordingly, P&G feels that it needs to have a significant presence on Facebook. If you are wondering if Facebook is making any money, you need look no further than P&G. It is clear that Proctor & Gamble is working with Facebook in a big way — as an advertising platform and a brand destination. P&G’s explicit goal for 2010 is to assure that each of its brands has a meaningful presence on Facebook and they are willing to pay dearly for that. And while P&G’s thought leaders expressed some skepticism about the efficacy of Facebook’s “engagement ads,” they certainly view Facebook as a must-have for digital advertising and brand building. They didn’t quantify what they are paying for that exposure, but it is quite clear that the numbers are very big.
Even more interesting was the company’s position on Twitter:
Perhaps as interesting as P&G’s love of Facebook, was its skepticism about Twitter. They described Twitter as “much more like television than one might think.” To P&G, Twitter is a great broadcast medium — it is best for one to many communications that are short bursts of timely information — but as good as it is for timely information, the P&G folks do not view it as particularly relevant to what they are doing on the brand building and advertising side. For those things that Proctor & Gamble thinks are most interesting and important, they do not believe that Twitter will ever approach the value they can get out of a Google or Facebook.
While a sampling of a few P&G executives does not paint an entire picture, it most definitely holds a significant bearing given that the company outspends the second largest global advertiser, Unilever, by almost a margin of 2-to-1. Facebook is still in their growth process and while P&G executives are not sure that Facebook’s engagement ads are the best way to go, it’s clear that the company is highly invested in making Facebook an increasing part of their ad expenditure.
P&G image via BrandWeek