P&G and Tide bring laundry facilities to L.A.'s Skid Row

Brand's 'Loads of Hope' program extends to the Midnight Mission and debuts 'docu-fiction' series 'The Tent Mender' on Amazon's IMDb

Published On
Aug 09, 2021

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Tide's "Loads of Hope" program is best known for shipping mobile laundry facilities to natural disaster sites, starting with Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Now, the Procter & Gamble Co. brand has put up its first permanent laundry at the Midnight Mission at Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles, a move integrated into “The Tent Mender,” a new docu-series on Amazon’s ad-supported IMDb.

Directed by filmmaker and founder of Hand Made Productions Laura Hand and voiced by Emmy-winning actor Peter Coyote, “The Tent Mender” is “docufiction,” telling the story of a fictional character who finds redemption working with real people experiencing homelessness on Skid Row. The series launches today.

For P&G, it’s a chance to link its flagship laundry brand with a streaming service as it embarks on a mission to expand "Tide Loads of Hope" tenfold by 2030. The program has reached about 90,000 families and donated 350,000 units of detergent since 2005, and the expansion effort is part of P&G’s broader commitment for “2,021 Acts of Good in 2021.”

While in the past, programs like "Tide Loads of Hope" or the "Dawn Saves Wildlife" program to rescue birds harmed by oil spills didn’t get much media attention from P&G, the integration with the docu-series shows a concerted effort to change that.

“The Tent Mender” also will benefit from added media support that most docu-series on streaming platforms don’t get, including a page in the P&G BrandSaver nationwide coupon insert Aug. 1 and promotion via Tide’s Instagram channels and on Amazon.

“The more I’m working in this space, the more we believe in the power of stories,” says Kim Doebereiner, executive producer of the project and head of P&G Studios. “Facts fade, and stories stick.”

So she was favorably inclined when Hand joined Tom Sebastian, CEO of Dentsu’s in-house production studio The Story Lab in bringing the project to P&G. The Story Lab had already been behind the Emmy-nominated “The Cost of Winning” four-episode documentary series distributed by HBO and HBO Max in the U.S. last year.

“We created the story before we had a distributor,” Doebereiner says. “Amazon and IMDb TV were the right platform, but we didn’t go in knowing where it was going to go.”

Among other things, the link with Amazon will include letting people donate items from their Amazon Charity lists directly to the Midnight Mission, a homeless shelter that has provided services to people in Los Angeles since 1914.

Hand says Hand Made Productions “is about telling stories that are going to open hearts and minds, but also inspire people to go out and do good.” Certainly “The Tent Mender” did that pretty directly. Getting P&G to build a laundry room at the Midnight Mission in the third episode of the series was a natural fit with the story, Hand says.