Procter & Gamble’s Secret is launching a #RaiseItUp campaign to highlight how women are bearing an outsized burden of COVID-19.
The in-house campaign, featuring original work from Black poet Jasmine Mans, cites a McKinsey & Co. study showing that women, especially Black women and women of color, are more likely to have been laid off or furloughed during the pandemic. Another 2 million women have considered leaving the workforce or “downshifting” their careers during the crisis, according to the brand.
The campaign is being done in partnership with the Women's National Basketball Association and YWCA USA, with a 60-second spot featuring the poem from Mans as a voiceover, along with cameos from WNBA stars including the new Most Valuable Player A’Ja Wilson, whose spot ran during the WNBA finals, Oct. 4. The ad also features photos and Instagram posts from Black women doctors and first responders.
The campaign also will feature regional and national newspaper ads that include Mans’ poem plus content from the #RaiseItUp social challenge, which includes actress and vocal artist Gabrielle Union and WNBA players including Wilson and Swin Cash posting content to their social accounts today. Citizen Relations is handling PR.
“The 2020 pandemic has exacerbated many of the things women already face, and they have been shouldering the weight of the challenges brought on this year,” said P&G Senior Brand Director Sara Saunders in a statement. “Through our #RaiseItUp initiative, we aim to not only celebrate the strength and resilience of women but also take meaningful action to support them in the areas of their life that mean the most.”
Secret is pledging $1 million to support equality programs and working with YWCA USA to establish a “Secret Missions” fund backing direct assistance to women that includes childcare and career development.
Chassidy Jade, director of the spot and a best friend of Mans, said in the statement: “Now is the time for the unseen to be seen and the unheard to have their voices projected. We have the power to rise up and shift the narrative in order to build our own communities and make change. To me, that’s the definition of #RaiseItUp.”