Why Procter and Gamble is Winning The Olympics

I’m not sure why I have been so engaged by these Winter Olympics but lousy weather must be part of it. Normally, I couldn’t be bothered with the mundane mysteries of curling or bobsledding’s overfunded soap box derby–though I could watch Snow Cross all day. Apparently NBC’s ratings are down but that’s not my fault. I’m so there.

Advertisers should really study how these Olympics have treated their sponsor brands. Or more importantly, how the best brand sponsors differentiate themselves from everyone else.  After ten days, it’s pretty obvious that Procter and Gamble is way out front on that leaderboard.

Sure others have amazing television ads: Visa’s nighttime downhill Torin Yater-Wallace spot is visual poetry, Chevy’s SIRI-themed father awkward moment is wonderfully scripted and performed, and GE’s fantastical depiction of a young girl’s describing her mother’s job is all stellar piece of storytelling.Dennis Ryan, Advertising, Olson

But they’re just TV spots. And after a week of heavy rotation, every line, every subtle performance has seared into our minds…and we start resenting them. Seriously, the baby sitter spot for Chevy Tahoe aired no less than seven times last night alone.

One solution for this would be for advertisers to fund more executions.

But Procter and Gamble is demonstrating world class marketing by  relentlessly expressing one powerful, relevant idea: that Moms form the foundation for Olympic success.

The “Thank You, Mom” strategy is brilliant on dozens of levels, but better still, the idea translates to hundreds of platforms and relates to every brand in their portfolio. It provides the theme for NBC’s behind the scenes looks at the athletes. And videos show almost all the winning athletes expressing thanks to their Moms after their big winning moment, in a wonderfully emotional update of the old “I’m Going To Disneyworld” PR stunt.

Yes, there are hashtags and mobile extensions to drive this experience even deeper into the brands, but fundamentally, “Thank You, Mom” is a big organizing idea, one that speaks to a very large, very relevant market. And one that can link back directly to whatever we are watching. Even if that’s Skeleton.

And for crying out loud, why do I watch Skeleton?

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Olson

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