Sponsor Profile: Procter & Gamble
- Sponsor: Procter & Gamble (P&G)
- Brand Promise: Touching Lives, Improving Life. Inspired by Purpose.
- Olympic Exclusive: Personal Care (Health & Beauty), Household Products
- Sponsor Since: 2010
- London 2012 Campaign: “Thank You, Mom”
- Campaign Cost: $100 million TOP Sponsorship with estimated $300-$400 million activation fees globally.
- Campaign Time: April to end of August
- Campaign Scale: Global with regional markets customizing “Thank You, Mom” Campaign for relevant local activations (ie. UK, US, Canada)
Procter & Gamble (P&G) is one of the largest companies in North America and their Olympic campaign matches their size. With campaigns for 34 separate brands, a global “Thank You, Mom” program, sponsorships for more than 150 global athletes, and a replication of London landmarks in California, P&G’s 2012 Olympic marketing is the most far-reaching campaign in P&G’s 175-year history.
“It’s the largest multi-brand program we’ve ever done,” says Marc Pritchard, global marketing and brand building officer at P&G.
With over 34 separate brands receiving their own campaigns, P&G is going to have a dominant presence at this year’s Games. Campaigns include Gilette’s “A Great Start Every Day”, Tide’s “Proud Keeper of Your Country’s Colors”, Pamper’s “Celebrating Babies’ Unique Spirit of Play”, Pantene’s “Keep Shining”, Head & Shoulder’s “Wash in Confidence”, and last but not least, their largest campaign, “Thank You, Mom” which is a P&G corporate brand initiative and not specific to any one brand.
P&G’s “Thank You, Mom” Campaign sought to bring over 60 moms of competing athletes to the Olympic Opening Ceremony. The campaign recognizes and celebrates everything that moms do to support and encourage their athletic children.
“We are so excited to be sharing in this memorable event with so many amazing moms,” said Marc Pritchard, P&G Global Brand Building Officer. “They have done so much to help their children succeed, and it is only fitting they should be here celebrating this moment.”
It is the biggest campaign in P&G’s history and will be released physically, in retail locations, and digitally, over a variety of media. P&G will release a number of Olympic-themed branded products in millions 3.5 million of stores around the world, as well as launching several commercials and YouTube features. Their first commercial, “Best Job” shows a montage of mothers around the world supporting their children as they grow up to become Olympians. Their next commercial “Thank You, Mom“, drives home the point of their campaign: to thank moms around the world for supporting and encouraging their children. The newest commercial P&G has released is called “Kids“. This ad shows children entering, preparing, and competing in the London games. The final lines of the ad describe how mothers will always see their children as kids instead of Olympic athletes that we all know them as. This series of commercials is the main medium of the campaign and has already received traction as one of the best Olympic advertisements of 2012. Apart from these commercials, P&G also has approximately 60 short videos documenting various Olympic athletes, their moms, and their journey to the Olympics. These videos, called “Raising an Olympian”, range from about 3-6 minutes and feature Olympians from P&G’s sponsored team. As a part of the “Thank You, Mom” campaign, P&G will be raising $5 million to support local youth sport programs around the world.
P&G has built a “P&G Family Home” in London, meant to give Olympians and their families a place to call “home away from home”. The home will be available to the moms and families of more than 10,000 Olympians from all over the world.
Apart from their numerous campaigns, P&G will also sponsor 150 global Olympic athletes. They have sponsored 9 Canadian athletes, but definitely have a focus on American Olympians, sponsoring 24.
“We are delighted to introduce P&G’s family of athletes to the world. The world-class Olympians we’re sponsoring embody the dedication, passion and commitment that inspires us as a company,” said Marc Pritchard, P&G’s Global Brand Building Officer.
P&G will also turn a California Walmart into a re-creation of London, complete with iconic landmarks such as Big Ben, the London Eye, and even double-decker buses. It took their crew of 8 around 36 hours to construct the 535 square foot re-creation and it was formally unveiled on July 28th.
“The display celebrates our dedicated athletes and creates a unique in-store shopping event that customers will remember for years to come,” said Stuart Heflin, P&G’s brand manager, Walmart Global Consumer Team. “P&G is behind the Olympic Games and our athletes 100 percent. We want to give people who can’t travel to Europe the opportunity to feel some of the excitement of the Games here at home.”
Why It Works
The Olympic sponsorship allows P&G to both create a big idea that unites all of their brands under a P&G umbrella, such as the “Thank You, Mom” campaign, as well as develop Olympic-themed ideas around individual brands.
When P&G changed their marketing focus to purpose-inspired centered on serving people, the brands were forced to gain a deeper understanding of their consumers lives and give them the products that they want to make their lives better.
Pritchard has stated, “Brands need to uncover human insights, define the essence of those human behaviour, the truths, motivations, intentions that must be solved by benefits of brands.” From these insights, the brands need to create big ideas, “this is the currency of industry that lift the entire brand and make it relevant in peoples lives.”
Ideas need to be engaging, surprising and invite people to participate in the brand community. This incorporates and generates PR advocacy and digital engagement. The net result is participation, which ultimately means purchases. People become personally associated with the brand, therefore, becoming loyal members of the community and advocates and ambassadors of the brand.
Facebook has been a key partner in helping P&G launch their “Thank You, Mom” campaign where timing was important to build momentum. The campaign was launched in April to give individuals time to utilize apps and read through user guides to learn how to write messages to their mom and cheer on athletes through their news feeds.
For the 2012 Olympics, P&G has been timely and strategic about their placement of their “Thank You, Mom” campaign, utilizing real-time advertisements and social media to drive the brand message. During the gold medal match for women’s volleyball, P&G aired an ad featuring Kerri Walsh (U.S Olympic beach volleyball team) praising her mom. This was followed by a commercial for Pampers (Walsh’s sponsor) all tied together by Facebook posts and tweets sent to cheer her on.
Another clear example of their strategy is when they took the mother of China’s Wu Minxia (who is a Pantene sponsored athlete) to the 3-meter springboard event and took photos of her as her daughter was winning gold. They then distributed the pictures and video on social media meidums in China such as Tencent and Weibo.
P&G is evolving a corporate branding campaign – until recently, only those in the CPG business, trade and financial industry, knew what P&G represented. The first P&G Corporate Campaign was built to demonstrate what’s behind the company, what it stands for, what it cares about, it’s values and allows people to discover and feel better about the company and it’s brands. So, why sponsor the Olympics?
The Olympics touch people. The process started with agency Wieden+Kennedy presenting to P&G 7 tips to make Olympics work. They told P&G, you will be judged. The program brief stated that the big idea had to unite P&G’s purpose with purpose of Olympics.
P&G: Touch lives, improves life
Olympics: Make life better through sport
Their big idea was discovering the parallels between the Olympics and P&G. Every Olympic athlete has a mom and P&G is in the business of helping moms. She is the unsung hero and P&G wanted to recognize her for that and thank her. The idea, “Thank You, Mom”, comes from deep human insight – to their moms Olympic athletes will always be kids. During the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, P&G updated the campaign with real time brand building with moms of the athletes cheering their kids onto victory. The real big idea was an act of generosity for a lifetime of dedication. Families and athletes couldn’t get together while at games in the past, so P&G facilitated by bringing moms to the Olympic Games and by offering services from the P&G lounge such as the oral care smiles centre, a grooming spa and laundry services.
The results of the “Thank you, Mom” initiative have been huge. It’s become part of Olympic conversation with 2 billion impressions from P&G, 1 billion digitally and built sales $130 million.
P&G is expecting around $500 million in sales from the campaign, an increase from $130 million sales they received during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. The Olympic platform provides a huge opportunity for P&G to continue building a global presence, to continue developing their purpose inspired marketing initiatives, to go deep and connect with communities on an emotional level and to create more big ideas which will drive sales through key customer retail activations. This is where the rubber meets the road – P&G is going through challenging times and will need to continue to drive product innovations to grow shares. The Olympics are a great vehicle for P&G to showcase to the world their new innovations and to connect with consumers on a deeper, emotional level.
About “The Business of the Olympics”
The Olympics are one of the most watched events in the world. With so much potential revenue at stake, what makes a successful campaign? How can businesses launch marketing campaigns that are creative, innovative, and universal? THE KMAC GROUP’s “The Business of the Olympics” blog series answers these questions by analyzing select Olympic sponsors, on a global and domestic scale, highlighting their campaign successes and areas of improvement, as well as taking a look at key marketing practices during the Olympics such as “ambush” marketing, Olympic clothing licenses, and the risks involved with marketing during the Games. KMAC has advised and executed Olympic programs with sponsors for the 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 Games.