Most days I can safely say “we are just marketers,” but every once in a while, I see that we can have a cultural impact. We can use our platform to stand up for consumers, in this case, teenage girls, and in fact, all women will be moved by this video.
A new 3-minute video by the ALWAYS team at P&G is making its way around the internet this weekend with millions of views already. I hope that it gives you goosebumps, tears or gets you to think differently.
The insight that P&G’s team found was that somewhere in the adolescence stage, girls self-confidence plummets. In the video, they ask both men and women over the age of 15 to depict what “like a girl” looks like, and both sexes show a stereotype and a negative association with WEAK. Moreover, then, they ask 8-10-year-old girls to “run like a girl,” and they show how they would NORMALLY run. The insight is that somewhere between 10 and 15, girls start to see “like a girl” as an insult. The Always brand challenges us to re-define “like a girl.”
Here’s a look:
It’s one more example of where Procter and Gamble are moving, to emotionally connect with consumers. Click on this article to see how P&G is making this change: P&G has become good at Emotional Advertising
I’m a dad of a 16-year-old girl, and I can see this insight. I remember playing football in the backyard when my daughter was around 10, and she picked up the football and threw a perfect spiral about 20 yards. I just stood in awe. She’s a fantastic athlete, a Dennis Rodman type basketball player who leaves nothing on the court. In 6th and 7th grade she was the regional shot put champion. Also, then in 8th grade, she didn’t even go out for her school team. She was fighting those stereotypes at a tough age to “be a girl.” The Dove Outdoor campaign from last year hit home with girls quitting sports in their teens because of confidence. In today’s world of Instagram and Twitter, from what I see every day, it’s harder than ever to get to 20 feeling good about yourself.
Getting on the side of your consumer makes your consumer say “this brand is for me” and “this brand gets me.” Unilever was the first CPG brands to get on the side of consumers with the Dove “real beauty” campaign–still, a gold standard that many of us aspire to.
However, in reality, CPG brands should still look beyond CPG to push themselves. You are watching Nike’s “if you let me play” ad from 1995, you can see the inspiration of this work. This ad is for all the women who kick ass in sports, including my daughter.
Doing this type of advertising takes guts. At this point, the video is viral and gaining momentum. This type of work comes straight out of insights gathered by the team. Insight is not something that consumers never knew before. That would be knowledge or news, but not insight. It’s not data or fact about your brand that you want to tell. Real insight goes a layer or two deeper to help with the cause and effect. Oddly enough, Insight is something that everyone already knows. Here is my definition: Insight comes to life when it’s told in such a captivating way that makes consumers stop and say “hmm, I thought I was the only who felt like that.” Always ad strikes that chord of women and connects with women.
Many of us wish we could do this type of work. However, how does it happen? I don’t work at P&G but here are my guesses. They spent more money on GATHERING insights than they did on TESTING the work. Put it this way: while testing your Ads might make you sleep better at night, gathering insights will make you dream more. The brief did not say “I want a 30 and 15-second ad, plus give me a print ad I can use in-store”. There were no claims or demo requests, and they didn’t jam in a claim at 2 minutes and 23 seconds into the video. There was no debate over pack shots, of which SKU to use. I guess that not everyone at P&G bought into this and the work had to be sold in, to various levels by someone that believed in it. Every great ad I was ever part of met significant resistance, even doubt, and rejection. That doesn’t mean you give up. It would be best if you were more afraid of the ads where EVERYONE in your company likes the ad you want to make.
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