Why P&G was crowned “Brand Of The Decade” at Cannes Lion

The 5 day Cannes Lions festival of creativity wrapped up last week, airing entirely online this year and re-branded as Lions Live

During the festival, a new category has been announced acknowledging the FMCG giant Proctor and Gamble which has won to date 243 awards over the last 10 years and has been awarded the “Brand Marketer of the Decade“, in recognition of the company’s consistent outstanding creativity performance amongst the world’s biggest advertisers. Proctor and Gamble, owner of brands such as Always, Tide, Old Spice, has raked in seven Grands Prix, one Grand Prix for Good, three Creative Effectiveness Lions, two Titanium, 49 Gold, four Glass, 77 Silver and 100 Bronze Lions since 2010.

So what sets P&G apart from the rest of the brands? And why are their creatives ads seen as “a force for good”. Well, in efforts to shed light on what makes an award-winning brand or campaign, Cannes Lions published “The Lions Creativity Report of the Decade” a global rankings report which reviews ten years of data on winning and shortlisted work to recognize the most creative companies of the decade.

The extensive report breakdown creative work produced by regions, networks, and ad agencies. We however decided to take a look at what it takes to make the brand marketer of the decade award. To be fair, P&G has been historically known to be the largest or one of the largest ad spenders globally with an impact that stretches across markets such as Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. What seems to be a reoccurring theme and essentially their claim to fame is their ability to tackle social and environmental issues through their brand communication which has been their secret sauce to their success. So, in true S3cubed fashion, we decided to share our top picks of P&G’s award-crushing campaigns ranked according to our favorite.

#4 Touch the pickle – Whisper:

P&G’s sanitary brand Whisper aimed to break the taboo in India around menstruation. This campaign looks at how the powerful commercial and social media campaign encouraged 2.9 million women to pledge to “touch the pickle jar” and defy dated myths to own the conversation around periods
Why we love this: This campaign explicitly addresses issues of gender inequality or prejudice, through the conscious representation of gender in advertising and was able to spark a national debate discussing the issue


#3 Like A Girl – Always

I know….its another sanitary brand, but hey they seem to have become synonymous with categories that are daring enough to discuss problematic societal norms and shift audience perceptions. In 2015 Always used it makes leading position to help install higher self-esteem in future generations of women by releasing a film. The film asked young. men and boys to certain actions “like a girl”. The video highlighted that at about 12 years old girls begin to internalize the negative connotations that come with doing things “like a girl”. The video launched an empowering campaign to change what it means to do something “like a girl” into something strong and confident.
Why we love this: Always wasn’t the first brand to embrace brand feminism, but Like A Girl, firmly staked it’s proudly feminist flag in the ground for the brand and become synonymous with female empowerment.

#2 The Talk – PG

This ad is very relevant especially at a time where police brutality and injustices are at an all-time high.  There is an entirely uncomfortable conversation called “The Talk” that black parents have with their kids about what it means to grow up in America.  P&G released the film to show the world a variety of situations where the conversation could arise and parents have to convey to their children the prejudices they will face in life.

Why we love this: The ad which was created as part of BET’s My Black is Beautiful campaign promotes honest conversations about unconscious and conscious biases developed due to generations of systemic racism relevant beyond the American audience it was designed for.

#1 Share the load  – Ariel

Watching this ad for the first time had me in tears and I am generally not a crier. Which is why this made it to the number one spot.  Ariel, the detergent, reframed the conversation normally had by a brand in its category by moving away from clothes stains and focusing on the cultural stain of gender equality in the home instead. Thus initiating #Sharetheload, an idea that stems from raising an age-old question: ‘Is laundry only a woman’s job? The ad not only sparked a conversation nationally but, globally garnering praise from the likes of Oprah, Sheryl Sandberg, and Ariana Huffington.
Why we love this: Ariel’s ‘Share The Load’ movement received the first of its kind Gold Glass Lion at Cannes 2015; an award that recognizes work that implicitly or explicitly addresses issues of gender inequality or prejudice, through the conscious representation of gender in advertising. The award was created in partnership with LeanIn.Org, the organization founded by Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook, to achieve true equality. A mark that this ad is truly remarkable

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