P&G's Tide Flies Patriotic Flag, Olympics Marketing Campaign For Team USA

By Barry Janoff

May 2, 2012: There will be many American flags flying in London this summer during the 2012 Olympics, but Procter & Gamble wants to ensure that one special flag is created to support the almost 600 U.S. athletes who will participate in the Games.

As part of its activation as an official marketing partner of the U.S. Olympic Committee and global partner of the International Olympic Committee, P&G has unveiled via its Tide brand a multi-media effort, “My Story. Our Flag.” The campaign directs people to a dedicated Facebook page in which visitors  are asked to share "what the Red, White and Blue means to them."

According to P&G, "selected stories will then be transferred to fabric and represented by swatches that together will create both an artistic rendition of a physical American flag and digital representation. Each swatch of fabric will feature the contributor’s photo, name, city, state and a brief description of their story."

The flag’s creation will be documented on Facebook. P&G and Tide will unveil the completed flag in New York’s Bryant Park on July 3. P&G said the flag would also be rendered digitally on its Facebook page.

The 2012 Olympics run July 27-Aug. 12.

USOC has its own flag incentive going, "Raise Our Flag," asking people to donate $12 per stitch for a flag that Team USA will take with it to London. (That effort has inspired donations for nearly 5,000 stitches as of May 2.)

To support the “My Story. Our Flag” project, three athletes will work as Tide brand ambassadors: Lopez Lomong (track & field), Henry Cejudo (wrestling) and Sarah Hammer (cycling).

Lomong, Cejudo and Hammer will appear in all elements of the Tide’s marketing campaign, including TV, print advertising, POP, digital and social media. Each of the athletes have posted videos on the Tide home page sharing what the "Red, White and Blue" means to them.

In addition, limited-edition packaging will commemorate the 2012 Olympic Games on Tide, Tide Boost and Tide plus Febreze Freshness Sport, the latter of which will also feature Lomong on the bottle.

"Tide is proud to be the keepers of the Red, White and Blue and provide a platform for people to share their own personal stories about what being an American means to them,” Alex Keith, GM for P&G Fabric Care North America, said in a statement. “We’re very excited to kick off the 'My Story. Our Flag' project. and wish all of our athletes the very best in London.”

In addition to P&G, worldwide Olympic marketing partners include Acer, Atos, Coca-Cola, Dow, GE, McDonald's, Omega, Panasonic, Samsung and Visa.

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Reader Comments (1)

I don't think everyone who has tried it has been able to use patriotic advertising without seeming to be trying to sell something. However other marketers have used it and done so successfully. That is, they achieve their goal of portraying their brand in a positive light.

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