P&G Ad Pulls Heart Strings of London Olympic Viewers Precious Uwaya


Consumer Packaged Group giant Procter & Gamble known as P&G, launched a campaign during the London 2012 Olympics to pay homage to moms of athletes across the globe. Entitled “The Best Job”, and created by the agency Wieden and Kennedy, this ad was one of the first created as part of a global mission to better appreciate mothers. The Best Job ad went on to win several awards such as the Emmy awards, David Ogilvy awards and the Cannes Gold Liones award. The ad was successful in encompasses Abraham Lincoln’s quote of, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

            The advertisement depicts various mothers supporting the lives of their children, encouraging and helping them, despite every failure. With the idea of the global audience in mind, Wieden and Kennedy creators of the advertisement showcased   moms from the continents of Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America. The plot of the ad follows four women from four different journeys making the sacrifices and demonstrating the diligence necessary to ensure the success and encouragement of their children athletically.

The universal theme of motherly love spans across all countries, continents, races and ethnic backgrounds. The commercial is meant to show the global use of the product and to humanize the company in a way that signifies the bonds of these women as they all use the same products, they are bonded by their love of P&G brands and the love of their children.  In each of the frames and scenes the moms are shown at the center of the scene caressing, touching, or helping the children. The audience draws the unconscious conclusions that mothers are the caregivers of a household, and are dutifully dedicated to helping their children succeed by waking them up at 5am to accompany the child to practice, and by reflecting the emotions of happiness, joy, and sadness which the children feel. The interactions between the mothers and their children are filled with heartwarming emotions such as love, sadness, etc. The emotions of the children are mirrored to those of their mothers. One such example is when the gymnast messed up, and her mother’s face mirrored her emotion of sadness. By having the mother constantly at the side of the child and panning from continent, to continent, it reinforces the universal idea of motherly love and motherly sacrifice.  At the conclusion of the ad, the women all share similar results of success in their children’s life. The commercial exploits and reinforces the belief that hard work and dedication can lead to success in an individual’s life goals. The commercial is designed to be simple and effective in creating emotional value and emotional ties to the P&G brands.  Throughout the advertisements there is a subtle addition of several brands used by the characters including Tide, Thermacare, and many others. The colors red, yellow, and blue are very prominent in the commercial, and also happen to be the most common colors of the twenty five brands under P&G. The colors blue and red additionally have emotional connotations such that red represents a mother’s passion and desire to see her child succeed, while blue represents the calm and steadfast presence of a mother.

Proctor & Gamble is an American multinational consumer goods company with products such as pet food, cleaning agents, personal care products, skin care, child care, pet nutrition, and beauty products. Many of the products consumed by a broad array of families in the United States and across the globe are brand names under Proctor and Gamble, generating net sales of more than one billion dollar annually.  Such brand names include Charmin, Downy, Bounty, Olay, Pantene, Pampers, Vicks, and Gillette. A Media Audience Measurement Survey of the American Consumer conducted in the fall of 2011 showed that women were the primary shoppers in 75% of households for the consumer packaged group, and were the ones more likely to buy Procter & Gamble brands. The successes of this advertisement lead to an estimated additional 500 million dollars in added sales. The 2012 London Olympics was one of the most watched events in the US history, drawing in an estimated 219.4 million people, and making it the most watched Olympic event in 36 years, while 4 billion people in the world watched some or all parts of the London Olympics. P&G’s awareness of the global audience watching the Olympics inspired the idea of creating an advertisement that was universally appealing with a motif and theme surpassing race and ethnicity.

An article by Chris Routly of Daddy Doctrin   criticizes the ad for not including fathers, who are a primal part in the lives of child athletes.  He argues that mothers are the main target to sell and advertise the P&G product to. The ad received some negative feedback because the statement at the end of the commercial, ”because being a mom is the hardest job,” indicated that moms did not have any other jobs, perpetuating the societal stereotype that women belong in the house as an apparent indicator for the lack of gender equality displayed in society.   When inquiry was made on why fathers were left out of the equation, P&G created a 30 seconds commercial with dads shaving. The most direct social consequence that this commercial had was such that P&G is now a known sponsor of mothers everywhere. Despite its critics, the ad was considered favorable in the US and globally.


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