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Do Ad Campaigns That Don't Mention Brands Work?
By: Cindy Wendland
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The Sochi Winter Olympics just wrapped up. Proctor & Gamble (P&G) was a proud supporter of these games. Now P&G is running ads for the Paralympic Winter Games. The P&G Proud Moms campaign recognizes athletes in both events as they target women and mothers.

The Paralympic Games is a major international multi-sport event, involving athletes with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities, including mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy. After watching elite athletes compete, we will have the opportunity to see another set of elite athletes compete. This group is phenomenal in what they have to overcome just to get to the starting line.

P&G doesn’t advertise products in this campaign. They use a values approach to connect with their market. A values campaign is effective and emotional and can be successful. P&G took some heat in their last Olympics campaign for thanking only one part of the parental group — moms. Their customers expected that they were heard and acknowledged and the next campaign would be different.

Instead of honoring and recognizing both parents in helping their athletes reach success, P&G chose again to recognize just the mothers in the 2014 campaign. With a company as big as P&G, customer feedback and online community response may be applied differently than in a small company. Considering P&G has $90 billion in sales and a P&G product is used 3 billion times each day, their branding decisions seem to be working.

P&G is large enough that they can run ad campaigns without a brand focus because everyone knows who they are. Their marketing data crunchers analyzed the result of the Proud Moms campaigns from the last Olympics. They decided to run it again, which says it was effective. They are also extending the mileage of the campaign by running it for the Paralympic Winter Games. P&G is a branding powerhouse, and what they do works.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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