Procter & Gamble Co. is launching a heart-tugging "Miracles" campaign behind the 50th anniversary of the Pampers brand, including a series of "random acts of kindness" by the brand and its employees and soliciting stories of miracle babies on the brand's Facebook fan page.
The campaign also includes a 60-second ad from Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, incorporating footage from a series of webisodes by P&G Productions and the ZiZo Group last year. The webisodes and TV ad touch on stories of couples expecting babies, with subjects including multiple births, multicultural families, babies with special needs and an unplanned pregnancy with an obviously expectant bride.
One subject of the Pampers webisodes and TV ad was unexpectedly born 14-weeks prematurely. The story of the Smolinski family was also incorporated into a "Love Comes Early" documentary shown over several parts on Pampers.com starting last year.
In the first charitable effort linked to the Pampers Miracle Campaign, the brand has begun distributing 30,000 care packages to the more than 800 infant intensive-care units in the U.S. In a launch event at P&G's Baby Care headquarters in Cincinnati today, Jodi Allen, VP-North American Baby Care, urged employees to "pay it forward" on their own initiative, with a focus on individual efforts for newborns and their parents as opposed to financial contributions.
The launch also included four P&G employees recounting some of their own challenges with newborns or babies on the way, such as Kristen Guerra, part of the consumer and market knowledge (market research) team on the campaign, who went ahead with her wedding ceremony as planned in September despite being diagnosed with and receiving aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma. Now in remission, she said she's expecting a baby in October.
"This is really more of a story than a campaign," said Ms. Allen said of the Pampers Miracles Campaign. She said Pampers already had received more than 700 stories from parents posted to its Facebook brand page even before full-scale launch.
As part of a "Little Miracle Mission" on the Pampers Facebook page, the brand will issue challenges to parents, families and friends. When consumers pledge to support the mission, the brand will in turn help throw baby showers for expectant mothers nationwide.
Pampers also celebrated its anniversary by hosting three of the first wearers of the brand while it was in development -- three grandchildren of Vic Mills, the P&G researcher who led development of the brand starting in the mid-1950s. He did so, he said at the time, out of dissatisfaction with using cloth diapers for his grandchildren.
"Who would have thought over 50 years ago when Vic was toiling in his laboratory to create the first Pampers that it would become a $10 billion global brand?" said Bruce Bader, himself a researcher on P&G diaper products for more than 35 years. He said 25 million babies worldwide currently are wearing Pampers diapers.
Strawberry Frog, New York, handles digital advertising for the brand, and PainePR handles public relations. Carat handles communications planning in North America, and Starcom MediaVest Group handles media buying.