Guest post by Interstate Batteries Chaplain Henry Rogers.
Do you ever watch TV with the family and at times feel like you need to lunge for the remote control to change the channel? Today we let people in our homes through the TV set that we wouldn’t let through the front door. Years ago all programs on television were safe for the whole family…but not so today. Well, on April 16, Wal-Mart and Proctor and Gamble join forces to air “Secrets of the Mountain” as a family-friendly alternative to risqué TV.
The two advertising heavyweights have teamed up on the two-hour "Secrets of the Mountain," to be broadcast at 8/7c on NBC. The movie, which focuses on a single mother who brings her family to a mountainside cabin, highlights values — such as generosity, honesty and togetherness — that Wal-Mart and P&G executives say are in short supply on television.
The movie is part of a broader effort by the retailer ,dubbed "Wal-Mart’s Family Moments," to foster more such entertainment, including a film project in coming weeks. P&G, too, says it hopes to continue producing made-for-TV movies.
The project comes as both Wal-Mart and P&G, the world’s top ad spender, say they have stepped up scrutiny of the shows that get their ad dollars and have been asking TV executives to offer more wholesome programming. "I like to think of it as ‘no-lunge TV,’ meaning I don’t have to lunge for my remote," says Marc Pritchard, P&G’s global brand-building officer, who has three daughters. "I have been lunging for the remote quite a bit. My arm is a little sore."
Advertisers have long complained about the content of TV programs. In 1998, they formed the Alliance for Family Entertainment, made up of more than 40 top marketers, including P&G and Wal-Mart, to push for more family-friendly shows.
Wal-Mart and P&G’s film project is meant to bring a new urgency to that effort. Executives at both Wal-Mart and P&G say that just 23% of American parents are satisfied with the amount of family programming, citing research from the Association of National Advertisers. In a 2009 poll of 2,400 consumers, the trade group also found that ads were less effective when they appeared on shows containing gratuitous sex, violence or drug abuse.
"You have heard the saying ‘You are judged by the company you keep.’ Brands are judged by the company they keep," says P&G’s Mr. Pritchard.
Read the Secrets of the Mountain Promotional Piece for more details on the movie.