Generation Next @P&G Alumni, Miami

A week or so ago I had a hugely energizing experience chairing a one day conference with 150 young leaders in marketing and advertising at the P&G Alumni conference in Miami. I worked with P&G Alumni Network chair Ed Tazzia and his team to assemble a world-class faculty of P&G alumni including:

  • Chip Bergh, CEO Levi Strauss
  • Gary Briggs, CMO Facebook
  • Bracken Darrell, CEO Logitech
  • Lisa Gevelber, VP Marketing for the Americas, Google
  • Melanie Healey, Group President, P&G
  • Vince Hudson, VP US Marketing Samsung
  • Kip Knight, President H&R Block
  • Jim Stengel, former P&G GMO
  • Mónica Sánchez, Practice Lead, Quantitative Storytelling, Dieste, Inc. 
  • Kay Napier, CEO Arbonne, Chairman Natural Products Group 
  • Peter Hempstead, Director, World Kitchen 
  • Pat McKay, Partner, ArchPoint Consulting 
  • Alberto Carvalho, President, Brazil Operations, P&G 
  • Chuck Baker, CoFounder and CEO, Cayenne 
  • Anne Sempowski Ward, CEO, Thymes Corporation

Here are some of their gems:

  • “You can create a brand overnight” (Darrell)
  • “If you want to change the world become a marketer” (Darrell)
  • “The cost of computing power and storage will become zero” (Darrell)
  • AHA! Ambitious Purpose, Humanity, Always On, Organizational Energy (Stengel)
  • “You can have great advertising, but if it doesn’t sell more tacos…” (Knight)
  • “Being a Multiplier is a mindset about making geniuses, not being one” (Gevelber)
  •  “Dream Big, Work Hard, Play Team, Be True” (Gevelber)
  • “Ship Love” (Briggs)

Some of the themes that bubbled during the day included:

  • Resilience. Several speakers touched on the importance of grit. In her session on “the best advice”, Melanie Healey said the #1 choice to make is to “choose to work hard with a passionate, purposeful, and gritty attitude”.
  • Velocity. This was a key theme from Facebook and Samsung; producing work very rapidly that is ‘of the now’; the need for highly compressed creation and production cycles in response to current/relevant events. The 90 day gold standard from briefing to on-air has been reduced to 21 days.
  • Optimism about Advertising. When asked if the relevance of advertising is declining, Facebook CMO Gary Briggs felt the reverse is true; that simple and clear messages creatively presented are more important than ever. And Red Lobster CEO Kim Lopdrup said that video remains the most important sales medium because of its ability to make emotional connections.

P&G people are the best. What a day! Inspiration and hearty humor. Bring on 2017.

Image attribute/source: Samantha Avivi /

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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