P&G Pulls NASA Partnership ‘TV Ad Crowdsourcing’ Post

Legal issues have led to P&G withdrawing its inventive social media campaign leveraging its National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) alliance to crowdsource cheaper ad production ideas.


P&G, which has a lengthy commercial partnership with the space agency and has regularly leveraged this to source innovative ideas from NASA professionals, posted a brief on the NASA website in September inviting the wider NASA community to come up with creative and original ideas on how to produce more economical TV and digital ad spots.


This original post used the company’s alliance with NASA to source ideas on evolving TV advertising formats that would keep up with changing consumer habits.


Whilst previous P&G partnership posts on the NASA site have been primarily scientifically rather than directly commercial, it has previously used posts to crowd source ideas on everything from 3D printing technology, to hair care ingredients and even manufacturing innovation.


Earlier P&G briefs on the NASA site have included:


‘P&G Seeks Skin Delivery Technologies with Optimal Delivery Kinetics to Improve performance of Cosmetic Actives Background’




‘P&G Seeks Hair Care Ingredients or Products that can be used to Reduce Water Uptake at High Humidity and decrease Static in Dry Weather.’


This brief was largely focused on seeking new operational structures and/or new industries to achieve cost cutting.


‘P&G is seeking a new way to produce moving images for TV commercials and digital video,’’ said the NASA site post by Procter & Gamble’s Connect + Develop team.


It said ‘competitors are finding ways to dramatically reduce the costs of TV commercial and digital video production’ and explained that P&G is seeking a way to produce video with costs ‘significantly lower” than today’s average of $273,000 for beauty and $364,000 for household products TV ads (citing an American Association of Advertising Agencies survey).


The original deadline of submitting ideas was 13 October.


The brief even criticised the advertising industry’s current model for staying ‘essentially the same’ for the last 50 years.


Which some might see as a slightly strange and self-critical statement from a company widely acknowledged to be the world’s biggest advertiser and is reported to have spent just under $10bn last year on marketing..


Yet it seems seeking marketing-related cost saving ideas from the world’s top rocket scientists doesn’t quite fall within P&G’s NASA deal, so in early October P&G pulled its brief post from the NASA site.


’Unfortunately we had to take our postings down per NASA  legal,’ commented a P&G spokesperson.


‘We have to reassess what NASA can post from commercial partners.’




This current crowd source brief comes as P&G launch a huge drive to slash advertising and media costs – which aims to axe $1bn annually from its marketing budget.


Regardless of the legal issues around this specific brief, this innovative use of a brand partnership to source fresh inspiration and new ideas certainly demonstrates plenty of forward thinking and innovation P&G’s behalf.


Indeed, one of the major roles of P&G’s Connect + Develop unit is specifically to use crowdsourcing tactics to generate ideas from people who don’t work for the Cincinnati-based company and its regularly posts briefs to a range of partner organisation networks that include corporations, non-profits, charities and education institutions.




P&G Connect + develop



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