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Case Study: How P&G connects with their customers through inclusive marketing

Proctor & Gamble had always used the same old formula when it came to marketing; showing how their product is better than their competitors. While this formula worked throughout the ’70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, doing side-by-side demonstrations eventually was like houseguests and 3-day-old fish, it began to stink.

In the 2000s, competitor products caught up, sometimes surpassing P&G’s products, resulting in a dramatic stock decrease for P&G. All brands have the same few choices: be better, be different, be cheaper, or be out of business. Being better was getting harder in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space. Countless brands claimed to be fast acting, fast dissolving, or the best, “better” was worn out, and companies needed to pivot.

When Unilever released Dove’s Real Beauty campaign, marketers started to realize the benefits of not just talking to their markets, but connecting with them. This made P&G marketers pivot and focus on emotional advertising. The first P&G ad to feature emotional advertising was the “Thank You, Mom” campaign which aired in correlation with the 2010 Olympics. While P&G doesn’t have a direct correlation with the Olympics, they focused on the fact that everyone, including Olympic athletes, has or had a mom. In 2010, “Thank You, Mom” was the most successful global campaign done by P&G, with $500 million in global incremental P&G sales, 76 billion global media impressions, over 74,000,000 global views, and over 370,000,000 Twitter interactions.¹

After the success of the “Thank You, Mom” campaign, P&G continued to push out emotional advertising campaigns. Some of the notable ones include “Like a Girl”, “Widen the Screen”, “The Talk”, and “The Name”.

Like a Girl

In 2014, Always launched the “Like a Girl” campaign, which addresses how using the saying “like a girl” as an insult can have an effect on a girl's self-esteem growing up. The campaign aimed to change doing things “like a girl” into a positive statement. After the campaign aired, 94% agreed that the Always “Like a Girl” campaign encouraged girls to be more confident. ²

The Talk

“The Talk” shows the conversations we have to have but don’t want to. The video shows the tough conversations that Black parents have with their kids about the biases they will experience. This ad resonated with so many that in 2018, P&G won an Emmy for the video.

The Name

“The Name” which was released in 2022, brings light to a common struggle for most Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). Their name. In many AAPI cultures, their names hold extreme significance, but bias and a lack of cultural awareness can lead to mispronunciation and misidentification resulting in a failure to recognize a big part of their identity.

Proctor & Gamble's marketing strategy works because they connect with its customers through real-life experiences and situations. They aren’t afraid to have difficult conversations and don’t sugarcoat them. It’s important to remember that storytelling can be an effective way to connect. If your looking to up your inclusive marketing strategy, contact one of our consultants today.



¹P&G: Thank you, mom: Wieden+kennedy. An independent creative network. (n.d.)

²Our epic battle #likeagirl. Always®. (n.d.).


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