Procter & Gamble Olympics spot shows moms’ strength

'Strong' is a fresh, darker take on the role moms play in their kids' lives


Olympic sponsor Procter & Gamble is depicting moms’ big and small acts of courage in its newest “Thank You, Mom” campaign.

The two-minute tear-jerker for Rio 2016, called “Strong,” follows P&G’s previous Olympic Games campaigns that celebrate the role moms play in raising Olympians: “Kids” (Vancouver 2010), “Best Job” (London 2012) ,“Pick Them Back Up” (Sochi 2014) .

But, the new spot goes well beyond showing moms as cheerleaders and enablers for their young athletes. The moms demonstrate their strength in a few dark, frightening situations like an oncoming tornado, a car crash and airplane turbulence. The ad builds to the moment each child summons his or her own courage at the Olympic Games. The spot ends with the message: “It takes someone strong to make someone strong.”

“Strong was inspired by the simple human truth that the daily courage a mom shows echoes at critical moments throughout her child’s life,” said Joyce Law, senior communications manager, P&G Canada. “Each year, our brands listen to millions of moms around the world, and these conversations helped shape our campaign. From them, we learned that motherhood requires a strength many women didn’t know they had. So we set out to tell a deeper story that honours a mom’s strength – that honours not only what she does, but who she is.”

Strong was created by Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore. and directed by Jeff Nichols, whose work includes the recently released Midnight Special. Strong will appear as a two-minute video online and in shorter form on television in 35 countries.

In addition, 18 P&G brands will partner with Olympians to launch their own brand campaigns leading up to the Olympics. In Canada, Tide is partnered with Rosie MacLennan (trampoline), Crest is partnered with Brianne Theisen-Eaton (track and field), Pampers is partnered with new dad Mark Oldershaw (canoeing), and Gillette is partnered with Andre De Grasse (sprint) in a campaign that launched late last month.

Gillette’s “Perfect Isn’t Pretty” campaign also includes Brazilian soccer star Neymar Jr., U.S. Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton, Chinese swimmer Ning Zetao, and U.K. cyclist Andy Tennant, and tells stories of their journeys to be the best in the quest for gold.

P&G is also launching in-store activations at major retailers across Canada and is supporting the video through digital.

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