Sponsor P&G sets more modest target for Winter Games

Mon Jan 6, 2014 2:16pm EST
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By Keith Weir

LONDON (Reuters) - With the Winter Olympics only a month away, Procter & Gamble - one of the event's leading sponsors - launched its main advertising campaign on Monday, seeking a more modest return than from the summer games in London 18 months ago.

The household goods company, best known for brands such as Duracell batteries and Gillette razors, estimated London 2012 gave it a $500 million sales boost, but is targeting around a third of that figure from the Games in the Russian town of Sochi, as fewer nations take part in the Winter Olympics.

"The Winter Games aren't typically as big as the summer Games," said Marc Pritchard, global brand-building officer for U.S.-based P&G, which joined the group of 10 leading Olympic sponsors in 2010.

The focus of the P&G campaign, featuring clips of sports such as skating and skiing to be shown in TV commercials and online, will be on countries where winter sports have large followings, including Russia itself, China, the United States, Canada, Germany and Poland.

P&G, the world's biggest corporate spender on advertising, waited until after Christmas before stepping up its Olympic marketing ahead of the February 7-23 Games.

"For winter we found that it's best to start right after the holidays and then leading up to the Games," Pritchard said.

The company is again using the "Thank You Mom" message that featured in its London Olympic commercials, underlining the role mothers play in bringing up successful athletes.

The Games have focused attention on Russia's human rights record and in particular its attitude towards homosexuality.   Continued...

A view of Olympic rings near the resort of Krasnaya Polyana, near Sochi January 4, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov