- CANNES, France
With last week’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in the industry’s rearview mirror, among the highlights of the event was the proactive bent of Procter & Gamble which announced a series of new creative partnerships with John Legend, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, Free the Bid and others that reimagine creativity to reinvent advertising at a time when change is needed.
Meeting growing consumer demand for authentic stories and experiences that positively impact society and humanity, these partnerships embrace the convergence of advertising, journalism, filmmaking, music, comedy, and technology. They also bring together creative innovators who embrace equality and inclusion to create more inspiring creativity that people want to experience time and time again.
“For too long, the ad world has been in its own world – separate from other creative industries and becoming less relevant to consumers. It’s time to reimagine creativity to reinvent advertising,” said Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, Procter & Gamble. “There are vast sources of creativity available, and today P&G is taking action to merge the ad world with other creative worlds though partnerships that embrace humanity and broaden our view of what advertising could be.”
P&G’s new partnerships include:
- A creative partnership with John Legend that integrates multiple genres to explore various aspects of humanity and the human experience – such as parenthood, modern masculinity, music and social justice – with P&G and its Pampers, Gillette and SK-II brands.
- A humanity-based partnership with Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, which embeds “micro-step habit stacking” into P&G brands such as Oral-B and Crest, Pampers, Venus, Secret and Pantene, blending cognitive and behavioral science with life science to help consumers reduce stress and improve daily health.
- A partnership with Saturday Morning, a ground-breaking, socially conscious creative collective who, together with P&G, will preview a new short film called “THE LOOK” that tackles head on the issue of racial bias, building on the success of “The Talk” which won several Lions, including a Grand Prix.
- A collective partnership to relaunch Free the Bid into Free the Work, a curated talent discovery service founded by award-winning filmmaker Alma Har’el, designed for women and underrepresented creators to develop new-to-the-world stories never experienced before--because creativity loves diversity.
- A creative partnership with GLAAD to celebrate all aspects of human inclusion and expression, including a new film from Pantene that updates the brand’s iconic “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful” campaign.
- Technology partnerships that embed cutting-edge technology into brands to create superior consumer experiences. The interactive P&G LifeLab at Cannes featured new P&G products and experiences like Oral-B Sense, Olay Skin Advisor, SK-II FutureX Smart Store, My Black is Beautiful, and an immersive virtual reality experience from Verizon Media supported by content from HuffPost. (The P&G LifeLab originally debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2019.)
“Now more than ever, it’s critical that those of us with influence use it to make a positive impact on the world. I’m committed to connecting people, opening their hearts and minds and helping them see each other’s concerns and aspirations,” said singer, songwriter, actor, activist and producer Legend. “We can change the game when we talk about justice, community, family and how brands can create products and foster conversations that make the world better. I’m happy to partner with a company that strives to be a force for good in the world and develops thought-provoking creative work that will drive change.”
“Great brands are habits for their consumers--and P&G’s brands are daily habits for up to 5 billion consumers around the world,” said Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global. “Thrive’s innovative partnership with P&G is focused on leveraging the daily habit moments associated with P&G products--like brushing your teeth or changing diapers--as a springboard for Thrive’s Microsteps, scientifically-backed ways to reduce stress, improve health and increase performance. Behavioral science shows that habit-stacking--attaching a new habit to an existing habit so that it becomes a sustainable routine--is the fastest way to build a new habit and make it stick. At a time of unprecedented stress and burnout and a mental health epidemic, our partnership represents a new and important way to deliver on our missions of improving consumers’ lives and helping people lead healthier, more fulfilled lives through the brands and products they love and use every day.”
These partnerships build from the foundation P&G established last year at Cannes with:
--A Katie Couric Media partnership, which has produced compelling programs through humanity in journalism--including profiles of accomplished women sponsored by P&G’s Olay, Secret and Pantene brands, a short film about expectations of women with SK-II, a recent project with Gillette on raising boys, and a smart daily newsletter, Wake-Up Call, offering insights and commentary on the day’s top stories and lifestyle features.
--Last year P&G also introduced The Queen Collective with Queen Latifah, Tribeca Studios and United Talent Agency to accelerate gender and racial equality behind the camera by creating and distributing films produced by multicultural women directors, starting with B’Monet’s Ballet After Dark and Haley Elizabeth Anderson’s If There is Light--short documentaries that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.
--And P&G is partnering with National Geographic and Global Citizen to develop ACTIVATE, a documentary series that raises awareness around extreme poverty, inequality and environmental sustainability to mobilize global citizens to drive lasting change.
“When we partner with creative people who believe in the importance of equality and inclusion, we can create stories like we’ve never experienced before--because creativity loves diversity,” Pritchard said. “And when we embrace creativity through humanity, we can literally change the world by using our voices not only as a force for growth, but as a force for good.”