P&G developed an alliance with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to become an official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The partnership encompassed 18 brands such as COVERGIRL, Pampers and Tide. Shortly thereafter, P&G announced relationships with 16 Olympic athletes. One of the major challenges was to support P&G’s first-ever corporate campaign in the company’s 170-plus year history. This required an integrated marketing communications plan that would link P&G to its individual brands for the first time ever and promote the company’s corporate purpose of ‘touching and improving lives more completely.’
Marketing Communications Objective:
• Create a stronger emotional connection to P&G and its individual brands through the Olympic experience
• Own positive corporate/brand coverage during the Olympic and Paralympic Games
• Generate more than 1 billion impressions
For this initiative, the target demographic was the 85 million moms that live in the U.S. P&G, through its brands, has a 170-plus year history of empowering moms to be their best and appreciates the everyday sacrifices moms make. Taylor worked with the USOC to understand the unique hardships of Olympic and Paralympic moms, which shaped strategy and program execution.
Taylor’s strategic planning process and Olympic knowledge revealed that after years of sacrifice, many athletes’ families could not afford to make the trip to the Olympic Games. This presented the opportunity to create a program – Thank You Mom – that brought ‘touching and improving lives more completely’ directly to the consumer.
For more than a decade, the Family Center has provided thousands of Team USA athletes and their families with a place to come together in a safe, inviting and comfortable environment. Combining strategic insight and past Family Center management experiences, Taylor was able to get to the heart of what Olympic athletes and families needed most during this time: a home-away-from-home. Living on location at the Olympic Games as these devoted families did, there are everyday needs that anyone has when traveling for an extended period of time. Recognizing this, P&G was able to offer a number of its brands to help make the long stay easier.
P&G, unlike past sponsors of the Family Center, was in the best position to leverage their brands and truly make the Family Center like a second home, which prompted the venue to be called the P&G Family Home.
The overall marketing communications strategy was to create an authentic connection for P&G to the Olympic Games in a way that would allow it to stand out from other sponsors. At first glance, the connection between P&G and the Olympic Games did not exist. P&G is not in the business of athletic equipment or sports drinks. But for more than 170 years, P&G has been in the business of helping moms. So, while all the other sponsors focused on celebrating the athletes, P&G would celebrate the moms behind the athletes.
The PR plan of tangible acts of service was judged to be the foundation of the program. The efforts demonstrated that ‘P&G Proud Sponsor of Moms’ was not a slick advertising line but rather a genuine way for consumers to be introduced to P&G and the way its brand purpose of ‘touching and improving lives more completely’ guides its actions as a company.
PR executed two initiatives to show that P&G truly appreciates moms’ huge sacrifices.
• The Thank You Mom Program defrayed the costs of travel to Vancouver for the moms of all 216 Team USA athletes and 50 Paralympic athletes through Visa gift cards, and was the epitome of P&G’s corporate purpose.
o P&G collaborated with the USOC to communicate with moms and announced the program with a Today Show exclusive featuring two Olympic moms who, without P&G, would not have attended the Olympic Games.
• The P&G Family Home in Vancouver, a natural extension of P&G’s efforts to help Olympic moms, was the second initiative.
o The Family Home offered Team USA athletes and families a safe, inviting environment to reunite and enjoy complimentary services including meals, laundry, entertainment and salon treatments.
o All told, P&G cleaned 998 bags of laundry, provided 1,371 beauty treatments, distributed 950 Pampers diapers, snapped 1,991 photos in the Crest Smile Studio and welcomed 12,160 unique visitors.
Evaluation of Success/Measurement
Business Building Results:
• The 2010 Olympic Winter Games sponsorship delivered outstanding business and brand-building results for P&G:
o Over $130 million in incremental P&G sales
o P&G’s highest aggregate U.S. market share for the fiscal year in the January/February/March quarter when the P&G Olympic Games sponsorship was on the air
• P&G was approached by the IOC to become global TOP sponsor based on P&G’s activations during the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
o Based on the success of the Vancouver program, P&G became a global IOC TOP sponsor and plans to execute and expand the program globally
• Proud Sponsor of Moms’ campaign unified 18 brands into a holistic, multi-brand campaign
• P&G equity was significantly improved among the target audience of moms
o 6 billion consumer impressions from advertising, digital and public relations, with 2.7 billion garnered from PR efforts
o More than 2,800 placements including saturation across national TV shows (e.g., Today Show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, ABC World News Tonight) and major print outlets (e.g., The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Associated Press, People Magazine, Redbook Magazine, US Magazine and more)
o Coverage in 24 of top 25 DMA markets
o First time in P&G history that unearned media garnered more impressions than paid media