“Thanks Mom!” – Procter and Gamble

“Yours is the reflection I wish to see when I look into the mirror”

When I saw P&G’s “Thank you moms” campaign and I realized that an artist does not become an artist only by years of practice he becomes one the day his mother praises his work as a child; an athlete does not excel at sport only because he works hard, but also because his mother was always there on the finish line with the belief that her child could do it ; a writer does not become a story teller only by painting the imagination with words, he becomes one the day his mother told him his first bedtime story. We learned to stand up after every fall because our mothers were there to pick us up.

That’s the near-universal story Procter & Gamble revealed to the world in 2010; all that we are or all that we’ll ever be is because of our mothers. Thank you moms, for picking us when we fell and for always telling us to be strong.

Thank You Mom” campaign was not the result of strategy or creativity but of opportunity.

In 2009 P&G learned that it could avail the chance of a sponsorship deal with the U.S. Olympic Committee for the 2010 Winter Games. Kirk Perry, then P&G’s top North American marketing executive and now a top Google sales executive commented that the team had to come up with an arresting idea over the weekend, they had to act fast because rival, Johnson and Johnson had caught all the sponsorship opportunities in the years before.

Common factor for a host of brands that ranges from Pampers diapers to and Olay skincare is Mothers. Moms were the primary consumer target thus the campaign was decided to be focused on mothers.   The company made the decision on that weekend, and in less than a year the program was being implemented.

Due to time shortage, P&G Global Brand Building Officer Marc Pritchard decided to put out a challenge for which Wieden & Kennedy returned with the winning ideas, thus signing a major assignment and handling the corporate brand’s first global effort behind “Thank You Mom” campaign during the Vancouver Winter Games.

This campaign became popular with its “Raising an Olympian” video series and “Best Job” short film.

Those videos became a series of award-winning ads in an unprecedented ever-growing program starting with an 18-brand effort P&G planned on a really short notice for 2010.

We found a lot of times that when people know a brand is from P&G they feel better about the brand. And when they know P&G has all these brands, they feel better about P&G.”- Mr.Pritchard

Impact of this speed dialed global campaign :

  1. “Thank You Mom” added an incremental $500 million to P&G sales during the 2012 London Olympics

  2. Won creative awards which included Gold Effie and the top 2013 Advertising Research Foundation Ogilvy Award for a research effort that used response to Wieden’s viral videos to help dictate rotation and weight of the TV advertising. P&G research has show that the campaign constantly built the company’s brand awareness and equity scores.

  3. P&G and Wieden had the top four best-scoring ads for effectiveness from the 2014 games, with more than 25 million YouTube views between Feb. 7 and 10, 2014, it had quadrupled the number of the next six Olympic sponsors combined, including Visa and Samsung.

The Thanks Mom story did an elegant job of merging the Olympics, mothers (who buy lots of P&G products), and the umbrella brand that ties together their diverse products. The core of the campaign is the stories of the moms themselves, an elegant application of listening to customers and incorporating their stories in a B2C context.

Julie Roehm