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Thank You, Mom: Emotion in Storytelling

Blog: Consumer

5/6/2016
— Kerry Kindinger 

Telling a good story is more than words on a page. It’s about captivating your audience – and you can’t captivate without one key element: emotion. Few companies do this better than Procter and Gamble. The “Thank You, Mom” campaign featuring strong mothers of Olympic athletes draws people in year after year and stirs emotions, creating opportunities for people to develop a stronger connection to P&G brands. How do they keep it fresh?

In the sixth installment of the annual campaign, this year’s video takes a darker approach than previous editions. It goes beyond the challenges of competition to spotlight strong moms during life-threatening situations such as car accidents, airplane turbulence or tornadoes. The message? Moms are our rocks. As P&G would say, it takes someone strong to make someone strong.

As an agency that focuses on transformative storytelling, there are several key elements of this campaign that ring true for all communicators:

LOOK OUTSIDE TO REVINENT ANNUAL CAMPAIGNS

Keeping an annual campaign fresh is no easy task.  P&G invested in outside resources to take the campaign to the next level. To inspire creativity and increase credibility, they tapped Hollywood director Jeff Nichols, neuroscientist Richard Silberstein and more than 14,000 moms from around the world to inform the video content.

GO EARLY & GO BIG

Timing is everything. P&G strategically launched the campaign 100 days prior to the opening ceremony of the Olympics and two weeks prior to Mother’s Day. They debuted the video on the TODAY Show as NBC started their 100 Days to Rio count down with many eyes watching. The early release allows them to drive awareness and viewership now through the Olympics with various campaign milestones designed to spotlight the campaign creative along the road to Rio.

MAKE IT A 360 DEGREE CAMPAIGN TO MAKE IT IMPACTFUL

If you want maximum impact, you need to leave no stone unturned. This is a powerful, 360-degree campaign that went beyond PR and advertising. P&G pulled all communications levers including earned media, paid media partners, social media and events and experiences to go beyond the sponsorship to create impactful consumer engagement.

BE BOLD, BE FOCUSED

P&G focused on their target audience (moms and moms only), didn’t waiver, and championed the point of view that moms are not thanked enough. This allowed them to tailor their messaging specifically for this audience and connect with them on a deeper and more meaningful level, rather than trying to appeal to the masses.

In a hyper-competitive landscape where many brands try to encompass too much for too many demographics, P&G offers a model approach to connecting with a select, but targeted audience in impactful ways year over year, one mom at a time. Now, who’s off to call their mom? Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

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