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P&G wanted to raise awareness of the gender pay gap in women’s sports and to promote Secret deodorant as a key supporter of women’s rights. The brand sought to encourage women to take strength from the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team’s (USWNT) stance and demand equal pay.
Courageous Studios seeded the message "Play for Equal Pay" on CNN social channels, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube as well as on pre-roll for CNN’s native content. They launched a film during the opening days of the World Cup when viewing figures and cultural awareness typically spike.
Within the film, they asked USWNT stars of past and present about the ongoing challenges facing female athletes, and the sacrifices they’ve made to create opportunities for future generations. To generate buzz, they released their video at a culturally relevant moment: in the lead-up to the Women’s World Cup Soccer Tournament, held during the summer of 2019.
MediaPost asked Otto Bell, Chief Creative Officer, and Mahala Gaylord, Director and Producer, both at Courageous Studios about what they learned in the process of creating this award-winning ad.
Gaylord cited the trust developed between P&G and the studio. "This campaign came together almost overnight and we had to meet a tight deadline in order to launch the film during the opening days of the World Cup when viewing and cultural awareness would be heightened," she said. "The only way to make that happen was to trust each other and the creative process.”
Bell agreed, adding that it was important that the team understood how to leverage breaking news.
Because of the nature of a breaking news story, research, licensing and character outreach took longer than expected, Gaylord said. "I would have started in on this part of the process even earlier to try and counter that.”
She encouraged others to be "on the same page of collaboration from the start.
“There’s a real opportunity to work with breaking news," said Bell. "Headlines appear every day and, with a nimble production partner, there’s nothing to stop brave brands entering the fray."
This campaign won the Branded Entertainment: Original Film/Video category in MediaPost's 2019 Creative Media Awards.