Procter & Gamble had a good thing going with its mom-focused global campaign heading into the London Summer Olympics, and so like the world-class marketers they are, the company is trying to extend the string of positive impressions throughout the Games.
To that end, P&G CEO Bob McDonald and Global Brand Building Officer Marc Pritchard joined the mothers of several Olympic athletes and other P&G executives to virtually "ring" the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange "remotely" — from the P&G Family Home pavilion in London.
The P&G Family Home provides Olympic athletes from around the world and their family members a place to hang out, watch the Games and meet peers before and after their competitions.
The temporary "home away from home" includes amenities ranging from meals and internet access to the provision of Cover Girl and Olay beauty treatments, a "Pampers Playground" and a Tide/Ariel laundry service. And photo opps with Olympics mascots, as Pat and Peter Radcliffe, parents of UK Olympian Paula Radcliffe, discovered (at top). The pampering extends the "Thank You, Mom" theme of the worldwide Olympics sponsor's London 2012 marketing platform.
P&G's "Proud Sponsor of Moms" campaign, the biggest corporate effort in P&G's 175-year history, kicked off in April and will run through the end of the Games. It's generated a lot of buzz and garnered lots of kudos from many quarters for the company, for its "Thank You, Mom" commercials "Best Job" and "Kids 2012" commercials, as well as the series of "Raising an Olympian" video profiles of P&G-sponsored Olympic athletes (such as Ryan Lochte) and their moms.
The company would, of course, love to spread all that Olympics cheer around just a little bit more, in an even more important competition. Unilever, L'Oreal, Colgate-Palmolive and Kimberly-Clark all just beat analyst expectations for last quarter's sales growth and met or beat earnings forecasts as they also hiked marketing spending despite a slowing global economy, Ad Age reports.
Meanwhile, P&G has struggled lately with sales and margins, reducing its forecast of organic sales and earnings for this quarter. McDonald has laid plans to deal with all of those problems, including cutting marketing spending and rationalizing resources around key brands and products. But for the moment, P&G executives are more than happy to let their Olympics sponsorship — and moms — take the spotlight.
[images via Getty Images for P&G Olympics media center; below, that's IOC President Jacques Rogge (R) presenting an Olympic Torch to Bob McDonald, Chairman, President and CEO of P&G (L) and Marc Pritchard, Global Brand Building Officer at P&G]