Procter & Gamble's Gain wants your two cents about scents

By Elaine Wong on Mon Aug 2 2010
Sabrina-Soto Scent is very, very important to some consumers. So much so that Procter & Gamble's Gain has kicked off a "Home Scent-ervention Contest." The fabric care brand has tapped Sabrina Soto—a staging expert on HGTV's Real Estate Intervention —to make consumers homes "smell heavenly," and, of course, she'll "sprinkle in her style, too," as the company's Web site pitches it. To enter, participants must submit a three-minute (max) video explaining why scent is important to them and why they deserve a scent makeover.  For those who think scent isn't all that critical, Soto (pictured), who also hosts the network's Get It Sold show, can probably tell you otherwise. The real estate market might be bad, but who wants to buy a stinky house?

Dawn makes oily wildlife shine. Imagine what it does on dishes!

Posted on Wed May 5 2010

How much Dawn dishwashing soap does it take to clean up an oil spill of Ohio/Puerto Rico/Exxon Valdez proportions? Procter & Gamble is about to find out, continuing what I rate as one of the heart-tugging-est programs any marketer's ever done. Working with two wildlife groups—the International Bird Rescue Research Center and the Marine Mammal Center—P&G will use boatloads of Dawn to clean up the wildlife soaked by BP's horrific Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The company is stepping up deliveries from its Kansas City manufacturing plant. Get ready for the sight of adorable otters and dolphins getting scrubbed clean with dishwashing liquid. Never fails to put a lump in my throat. Yeah, I'm a softy when it comes to animals, but this program, which actually does stretch back to the Exxon Valdez, brings out the best in the marketer and the brand. And just imagine what it can do for your crusty dinner plates!

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Pantene counting on Bret Michaels to recover from hairy ordeal

Posted on Wed May 5 2010


Bret Michaels is reportedly out of the hospital (though still under doctor care) in time for the finale of NBC's Celebrity Apprentice and to possibly perform live shows again within the next several weeks. That's good news for Poison fans, but also for P&G, which had centered a contest prize around Michaels, his band and his tour-bus antics. (It's probably too early to tell if the antics will be up to legendary Rock of Love speed, but the frontman sounds pretty determined.) Read our earlier post about the contest here. Michaels had an emergency appendectomy April 12 and then suffered a severe brain hemorrhage. He was in intensive care for weeks, leaving P&G to wonder what would happen to the payoff for its Pantene campaign, dubbed "Be the Rock Star You Are." Contestants in what's billed as "the world's first reality hair ad" are vying for the chance to wash their hair during a live TV commercial with product pitchwoman and What Not to Wear star Stacy London. Then, that lucky gal will hit a Poison concert and become a Michaels groupie. That last part, and potentially a larger role for Michaels in the Pantene re-stage, seemed to be hanging in the balance. Now it could be back on track, if Michaels recovers as quickly as he promises. I hope he does. But I still don't get this prize, P&G—though the extra media attention is bound to send that ROI skyrocketing. So … good call?

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

P&G's Bounty on mission to clean up (literally) American schools

Posted on Mon Apr 19 2010


Procter & Gamble's Bounty is embarking on a clean sweep of America's classrooms. The paper-products brand kicks off a trailblazer effort this Tuesday to get volunteers to scrub U.S. schools clean—top to bottom, Bounty-style. "Make a Clean Difference," as the campaign is called, begins with an event in Washington, D.C., featuring celebrities like Mary J. Blige, Russell Simmons and Gabrielle Union. Though some might say you'd need more than spray bottle, a Swiffer stick and paper towels to clean up America's schools, we're glad to see that someone is doing finally something about it.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Pantene hair-care contest offers weird Brett Michaels grand prize

Posted on Mon Apr 5 2010


Now here's a contest that could be right up my alley. Dubbed "the world's first reality hair ad," it's a Procter & Gamble-sponsored casting call for chicks who'd like to try Pantene shampoo during a live commercial with product pitchwoman and What Not to Wear star Stacy London. Well, I have a lot of hair, and it often needs to be washed, so I might just give this a shot. But other than a brief TV appearance on May 25 and spanking clean locks (and maybe a cut and style thrown in?), what could I win? Answer: tickets to a Bret Michaels concert, first-class airfare, backstage passes and a ride on his tour bus. Wait, what? You mean I'd get a freshly laundered 'do just to hang around in a sea of skanky Rock of Love rejects in Michaels' entourage? Is this really the kind of brand message P&G wants to put out? Besides, any association between Michaels and hair products is a head scratcher, since I suspect his wispy blonde tendrils are actually extensions sewn into his ever-present bandana. No bandana? Hello, baldie! So, I think I've changed my mind about uploading an audition video, but I sure appreciate the twisted attempt at humor. Thanks, P&G!

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Rapping scientists test Bounty paper towels in new music video

Posted on Wed Mar 17 2010

Dude, this is what we call entertaining marketing. Paper-towel brand Bounty has done it again, this time with a gangsta-grooving music video on YouTube. While BrandFreak (and most of the folks in the marketing world, perhaps) thought the R&D guys at Procter & Gamble were pretty buttoned up, this video dispels that myth. (OK, there are probably some conservative types working there.) The two-minute video, which has gotten nearly 400,000 views in a week, shows rapper scientists putting the quicker picker upper to the test. We closed our eyes at one point during the triple dare, but opened them to find the Bounty sheet unstoppable and still absorbing. Go Bounty!

—Posted by Elaine Wong

P&G's Cheer contest offers walk-on role in 'As the World Turns'

Posted on Wed Jan 20 2010

Call it American Idol fever. Cheer, the laundry detergent brand sold by Procter & Gamble, today launched an online talent search to find the "next bright star" to appear on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns (which is wrapping up for good in September). Through March 2, consumers can log on to "to see if they have what it takes to be a bright spot in a dingy world." For a shot at the walk-on role, you must upload an acting audition clip. The campaign is part of Cheer's Brighten Bay soap campaign, which launched in November. P&G is supporting the launch with webisodes set in Brighten Bay, soap-opera trivia and games and activities on its Brighten Bay Facebook and YouTube pages. Says Cheer associate marketing director Alberto Huerta: "Brighten Bay's Idol sweepstakes is a fun, feel-good contest which allows us to engage with our audience in a meaningful way, and it also allows them to further connect with each other." Thank goodness Simon Cowell is not the judge.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

If you love going to the potty, Charmin has the perfect job for you

Posted on Mon Nov 2 2009

To anyone who thinks babysitting temporary bathrooms in New York's Times Square is a lame gig, you've obviously never seen anyone do the pee-pee dance. Side splitting! And just so you know, Charmin Ambassadors, I expect to see just this kind of video flooding out of the potties and onto your blogs. That's the least you can do for your $10,000. For the uninitiated, Procter & Gamble's Charmin is launching a "relief" program for the fourth straight year for Big Apple holiday shoppers and members of the public who have precious few places to tinkle (the sidewalk doesn't count). The new twist this season is that the marketer is looking for "five super-fun, enthusiastic" people to staff the facility for a month, greet and entertain the masses and blog about the experience. Auditions are happening Thursday, and I can only hope that a lot of creative folks show up. Brilliance, and the return of the pogo, could ensue. 

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Downy is so soft, it will cause you to act like a homeless person

Posted on Mon Oct 12 2009


Soft, cuddly things never seem to be in abundance (unless you own a thousand stuffed animals), and a new Downy spot from Grey, New York, reminds us to appreciate the softer things in life—things made soft by Downy, that is. This spot from the Procter & Gamble brand shows people reveling in the fabric softener's softness in unexpected places. The opening shot shows a woman wrapped in a soft blanket, then pulls back to reveal that she's in an elevator, not her comfy bedroom. Then there's a guy all snuggled up to his Downy-softened pillow … on an airplane. (Needless to say, the guy next to him is annoyed.) "Maybe we could all use a little more softness," says the ad, which features a backdrop of relaxing, chiming music. Grey says this is "the highest-scoring base Downy spot" it's produced in four years. The ad, a continuation of Downy's "Feel more" campaign, marks a return back to advertising the product's softness as opposed to the traditional category focus on scent.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Use Downy, and weirdos at the laundromat will sniff your boxers

Posted on Tue Aug 11 2009

If you're teetering on the edge of perverse, Procter & Gamble's Downy will push you over to the dark side. In this Spanish-language spot for the fabric softener, via Wing in New York, a man in a laundromat is drawn to the Downy Ultra scent wafting over from the guy next to him. He walks over and takes a deep sniff of the guy's boxers, but soon learns, much to his chagrin, that the shorts owner hasn't put them through the wash yet. "Long lasting scent," says the copy. I'm not sure why he would have felt more comfortable sticking his nose in someone's clean underpants. In the aftermath of this, I assume the guy either cleaned his nose with industrial-strength cleaning solution or discovered his true calling as an underwear thief. Regardless, he has Downy to thank.

—Posted by Elana Glowatz



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