The Old Spice Guy isn't quite dead and buried yet. He made a new appearance today, of sorts — at the annual meeting of Procter & Gamble, where he was praised by company executives for helping boost fiscal-year growth.
The Old Spice Guy campaign, starring ex-footballer and rising actor Isaiah Mustafa, was cited by P&G in video vignettes (including the one above) that were played at the meeting in Cincinnati as a marketing coup that boosted interest in the brand, and sales, that contributed to organic growth of 4 percent and core profits of 8 percent for P&G during its fiscal year ended June 30.
"It's good but not yet great," P&G CEO Bob McDonald said about the company's financial results overall, according to the Business Courier Serving Greater Cincinnati. "We don't settle for 'good' in this company." Indeed. P&G didn't get to become the world's presiding CPG giant by settling for anything.
The last couple of CEOs, starting with A.G. Lafley, have goosed growth by a number of means, including major acquisitions including Gillette (which rose 3 percent on the 2011 Best Global Brands ranking), decisive sell-offs of non-performing or superfluous brands, ambitious extensions of reliable brands, and other steps aimed at continuing to unlock the innovative ideas and impulses of the company, its employees and partners.
Last fiscal year, P&G's growth came despite nearly $2 billion in commodity and energy-cost increases, the company noted in a statement today.
Diversity also was a hot topic at the meeting. McDonald emphasized that P&G's support for political candidates is based on their economic views and "does not reflect support for any of their views that they may have on social issues." At the same time, the company noted that it has a record-high five female members on its 11-person board of directors and that 42 percent of managers now are women.
Some quotes from McDonald at today's AGM, including links to videos shown, as tweeted by his social media team:
• "We do well by doing good, and we’re able to do good because we do well. It’s a virtuous cycle."
• "Our experience has proven that promotions may win a quarter here and there, but innovation wins decades."
• "In 2 weeks, P&G will celebrate a #milestone that very few companies have achieved: our 174th year of business."
• "Last year, we launched 8 of the 25 most successful new products in our industry in the U.S. Crest 3D White was #1."
• "We've paid a dividend for 121 consecutive years. And, we’ve increased the dividend for 55 consecutive years."
• "Video story about a simple idea to bring the best of Crest into 1 complete collection:"
• "Video story of how Gillette Guard became the best-selling razor in India:"
• "People who loved Gain laundry detergent asked, 'Why not develop it for dishes?' So we did:"
• "Head & Shoulders has been studying & soothing scalps for 50 years. Here's the impact:"
• "I'll share just one more video story about Old Spice. This is a fun one." (See the video, at top)
• "There's no difference between our business strategy and our social responsibility. They're one and the same."