External Relations Manager for US Operations
Procter & Gamble
Glenn Williams is the external relations manager for Procter & Gamble’s US operations. Since moving into this role in 2011, Williams has taken on public relations for Procter & Gamble’s Olympic sponsorships. Williams spoke with eMarketer’s Lauren McKay about the consumer packaged goods company’s plans for the upcoming London Games.
eMarketer: When did Procter & Gamble’s Thank You, Mom campaign originate?
Glenn Williams: It really goes back to before the Vancouver Winter Games, where we got the opportunity to become a sponsor of the US Olympic Committee (USOC). In doing that work, we asked, “How does P&G fit with a sporting event like the Olympics?” We don’t make sporting apparel, we don’t make sports equipment, we don’t make sports drinks or anything like that. What we do make are products that touch families, and especially moms, each and every day.
“Many people are calling this the first digital Olympics.”
Another idea was that behind every Olympian there's a mom. So we decided to put together a campaign that shows how we touch Olympians through the everyday products that their moms use. We also started thanking moms.
We launched the Thank You, Mom campaign in Vancouver to tremendous success. Shortly after Vancouver, we made the decision to become a global top sponsor with the IOC, which is an agreement that runs through 2020. Given the results of Vancouver, it seemed natural to extend that Thank You, Mom campaign into the London Games.
eMarketer: What channels will P&G use to promote this campaign?
Williams: It’s actually a bit different this year. Many people are calling this the first digital Olympics. Clearly there was a lot of digital stuff going on in Vancouver, but I don’t have to tell you that in just two years, the digital landscape has changed tremendously. We are taking advantage of that with very broad digital campaigns around the world. So, for example, we launched a short film portraying how moms support athletes called “Best Job.” We actually launched that digitally about three weeks before it launched in traditional media.
eMarketer: How much of the London campaign is being dedicated to digital?
“We would expect about a third to half of our impressions to be coming from digital.”
Williams: We can’t disclose spending, but I can say we would expect about a third to half of our impressions to be coming from digital. We wanted to go into the games with very high consumer awareness of what P&G is doing, so digital was the key launch point for that.
eMarketer: What’s important to measure when it comes to social media and digital engagement?
Williams: We have goals in terms of the number of video views. Leading up to the games, we want to see at least 10% lifts in the number of likes on our brand and corporate Facebook pages. We look at metrics like that. We are also looking at the viralness of the ad—are we creating a grass-roots movement around the whole idea of thanking mom? I think we are. Like I said, the film is being very widely shared. Our Facebook fan base has gone up tremendously. The chatter about it is good, and it’s being picked up in the blogger community. We are very happy with how viral the film has been and how our overall marketing campaign has been received.
eMarketer: How are individual brands showing support for the games in digital?
Williams: The corporate brand is Thank You, Mom—that’s the umbrella that P&G has hung over everything. With that in mind, we tasked each of our brands to come up with an Olympic program that takes their brand equities and uses them to talk about the Olympics.
For example, Tide came up with a campaign called “Proud Keeper of Your Country’s Colors.” The idea there is that gold, silver and bronze aren’t the important colors at the Olympics—what’s really important are the colors of your country. What better brand is there to protect the colors of your country than Tide? In the US, Tide used track and field star Lopez Lomong, one of the lost boys of Sudan who came to the States, to tell the story of what red, white and blue mean to him.
Pampers is all about the baby Olympics. When a toddler is learning to walk and falling, those are Olympic events. Pampers are designed to allow that kind of movement and flexibility for babies to explore the world. That became a natural way for Pampers to talk about the Olympics.
For men’s shaving brand Gillette, it’s all about the “Great Start”—those first couple steps out of the starting blocks, the dive off during a swimming event. Gillette picked a team of athletes who embody that idea of starting the day with confidence.
“Every indication is our consumers will be watching the games both in traditional broadcast and, to a very large extent, digitally.”
eMarketer: How has digital consumption, and the fact that consumers will be accessing Olympic content increasingly through the web and through mobile, impacted how P&G will advertise during these games?
Williams: It really goes back to the principle of we need to be where our consumers are. Every indication is our consumers will be watching the games both in traditional broadcast and, to a very large extent, digitally, so we have advertising programs with digital partners. For example, we have a partnership with NBC, who has all the broadcast rights in the US. They have an Olympic hub on the web where we will have a presence not only in content but in advertising.
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