Iconic Ads: P&G – Thank You Mom

Thank you mom

P&G’s “Thank You Mom” Olympic marketing campaign was a masterful attempt to tap into a timeless human value in order to generate a campaign that was exciting, relevant, and emotional for consumers of all ages and nationalities.

Procter & Gamble sought a strategy to reach their most important demographic of customers, moms. While the company’s products are used on a daily basis by the majority of Americans, the brand saw an opportunity to establish a deeper, more meaningful connection with customers. P&G beat out rival J&J by making the bold move of signing a sponsorship deal with the United States Olympic Committee in anticipation of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The corporation made a hasty choice, and with less than a year to prepare for the program’s launch, the team immediately started working on the campaign.

Contextual Data and Studies

P&G contacted Wieden+Kennedy after securing the contract and developing the idea for their Olympic campaign. The company’s first plan was to concentrate on the members of Team USA in an effort to create a bond between the competitors and the spectators.

After more thought, the strategy was changed to focus on and appeal to the target audience, which was mothers. According to P&G’s studies, consumers’ trust in a brand increases when they learn that P&G makes it. So, P&G decided to streamline all of their brands under one umbrella and feature proud moms utilizing their wares in an effort to evoke more feelings from their target audience.

Promotional Efforts and Outcomes

P&G may not seem to have much in common with the Olympics at first glance, but the company’s marketing team saw an opportunity to link itself to the competition by appealing to moms. The “Thank You, Mom” commercial, which debuted in 2010 during the Vancouver Olympics, was inspired by this sentiment. As opposed to competing companies, P&G decided to talk about the moms who raised the athletes instead of the players themselves.

Copywriter Karl Lieberman and art director Ryan O’ Rouke created the first film. “Thank You, Mom” campaign, a one-minute film named “Kids” was released, depicting Olympic participants as younger versions of themselves participating in the Olympics with their moms watching. This video’s primary goal was to associate P&G with mothers and popularize the slogan “P&G, Proud sponsor of Moms.” To bring this ad full circle and back into the customer’s house, P&G also launched a platform for viewers to thank and appreciate their own mothers in conjunction with the video’s debut. Last but not least, they flew all U.S. Olympic participants and their mothers to Vancouver and provided them with a home away from home—the P&G Family Home.

With an additional $500 million in sales, this three-part campaign was the most successful worldwide campaign in P&G’s history. Over 370 million tweets were sent in response to the film, which had over 74 million views and 46 billion media impressions.

For Procter & Gamble, this meant expanding the campaign for use in future Olympiads. The “Thank You, Mom” campaign has expanded to include five films and is widely considered one of the most successful advertising efforts of all time.

2010 Olympics
2012 Olympics
2016 Olympics


While the prospect of global expansion was daunting at first, the company’s efforts and ingenuity have paid off thanks to the positive reaction they received from consumers. Although “Thank You, Mom” is more about the message than the goods, the influence moms have on their children is so profound that the commercial’s representation of this impact has made it a worldwide sensation.

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