J&J Prooves Ideas Can Come From Anywhere (Much To The Chagrin Of Creatives Everywhere)

Brandweek is reporting on Johnson & Johnson’s request that major media outlets compete to deliver creative concepts.

In a move that has consequences for its ad agencies, media sales execs, and individual brand managers, Johnson & Johnson has commissioned an image campaign by staging a creative jump ball among at least three media conglomerates.
Creative for the campaign—three new TV spots in the ongoing “Having a baby changes everything” effort—was initially proposed by Time Warner, which beat out Viacom and NBC Universal in a “bake-off,” TW said. The spots feature three TW celebrities, actor Stephen Collins from The WB’s 7th Heaven, actress Holly Robinson Peete from UPN’s Love Inc., and writer Nicholas Sparks from publisher Warner Books.
The unusual route of their development illustrates J&J’s ongoing interest in going beyond its traditional ad agencies to do unique deals with media providers.
Brian Perkins, J&J’s vp-corporate affairs said he expects J&J’s individual brand managers to start looking at more cross-media creative deals with media giants. “I think this is more the model of the future. We’re encouraging this from our agencies and our media partners,” he said.
“I don’t think Madison Avenue should feel threatened. I think Madison Avenue should feel we’re looking for more creative solutions,” Perkins said.

So, let me get this straight…leveraging TV stars from Time Warner’s own shows to appear in J&J spots is a big idea? I think Lowe (J&J’s lead agency) could have come up with that one.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.