Procter & Gamble is launching its first-ever corporate marketing campaign and single-largest integrated campaign to date around the Winter Olympics. In addition to individual sponsorship programs with 17 of its brands and endorsement deals with nearly as many individual athletes, the company is running two TV spots during broadcast on NBC that are all about Procter & Gamble and its commitment to moms.
The company is also running a "P&G Thanks Mom" program wherein it will help defray the cost of travel to Vancouver and accommodations for mothers of competing athletes who otherwise would not be able to attend.
As part of its Winter Olympic sponsorship program, the company has extended its U.S. Olympic Team athlete marketing alliances by signing 10 more athletes who are set to compete in Vancouver this week and next. The athletes are in addition to six that P&G signed last year, making it Procter & Gamble's largest roster of endorsers for a single event, per Kirk Perry, VP, North America at P&G.
"Obviously we have endorsees across our brands in different areas but in terms of concentration, it's mostly around one event," he tells Marketing Daily.
The new athletes include pairs skater Rockne Brubaker; short-track skater J.R. Celski; hockey player Julie Chu; Sasha Cohen, a silver medalist in figure skating; Olympic gold winner speedskater Chad Hedrick; curler Nicole Joraanstad; gold medalist skier Julia Mancuso; pairs skater Keauna McLaughlin; skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace; and Seth Wescott, an Olympic gold medalist, snowboarding have signed on with the CPG giant.
Brubaker, Celski, Chu, Joraanstad, Mancuso, McLaughlin and Wescott are endorsing Crest; Cohen is endorsing Pepto, and Hedrick and Pikus-Pace are affiliated with Pampers.
The athletes will be part of integrated campaigns that include advertising, PR, in-store merchandising, mobile, digital and direct mail. Procter & Gamble is using the U.S. Olympic Committee partnership to promote 17 of its brands across five USOC sponsorship categories.
The two P&G corporate TV ads, "Never walk alone" and "Kids," are meant as tributes to moms who stand behind their kids' efforts. Perry says campaigns by P&G's individual brands will be integrated thematically with that message. "They are lining up under this one umbrella," he says.
Perry says P&G brands are doing Olympic-specific ads incorporating the "Thanks, Mom" message that goes all the way down to the company's "P&G Brand Saver" coupon booklet that came out last week. "You would have seen that same unified theme there as well as in ads, social media and in-store. It's our most-integrated marketing plan behind a single event ever."
Perry says the Games are the right spot for the company to do a unified corporate and brand-centered push. "We know the Winter Olympics are the number one sport among women 18 to 34 and the second-most watched among men after the NFL. And, given the economy, people are taking vacations closer to home. The Olympics are a terrific family event. We are always looking for a great investment; that's what our marketing dollars are about. And this will be a terrific return relative to other options, it's the right thing to do at the right time with the right property."
Procter & Gamble will also have a "P&G Family Home" in Vancouver that intended for U.S. athletes and their families. The facility has amenities like a "P&G Beauty and Grooming Salon and Spa" promoting Pantene, Covergirl, Olay, Venus and Secret products; a Crest/Oral B Smile Center; a Pringles Snack Lounge, Charmin Restrooms (which P&G is touting as the cleanest in Vancouver) and complimentary Tide laundry service, among other things.