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The Talk

P&G

Issue 46 | March 2018

Agency

BBDO New York

Creative Team

Creative Chief Creative Officer BBDO Worldwide David Lubars Chief Creative Officer BBDO New York Greg Hahn Creative Directors Marcel Yunes, Rick Williams Associate Creative Directors Nedal Ahmed, Bryan Barnes

Production Team

Production Agency Producer Director of Integrated Production David Rolfe Executive Producer Dan Blaney Senior Producer Whitney Collins Executive Music Producer Melissa Chester Production Company The Corner Shop

Other Credits

Other Global Account Director Anita May Group Planning Director Sangeet Pillai Editorial Company Work Editorial Music Company Pulse Music NY VFX Company The Mill NY Colorist Company 3/Sofie Borup Media/OOH Agency info Multicultural Strategic Communications Egami Consulting Group Website Barefoot Proximity Multi-Cultural/Collateral Burrell Communications Media Agency Hearts & Sciences

Date

June 2017

Background

It's highly risky for any brand to take on a social issue. For P&G, the stakes were especially high as it set out to tackle the issue of bias directed at black communities. Leading up to 2016, racial bias had re-emerged as a divisive theme in the United States and, as a longtime advocate of improved lives for all, P&G felt it was important to address this. P&G wanted to reinvigorate their decade-old "My Black is Beautiful" program and create dialogue about racial bias in America that would lead to more awareness, understanding and positive outcomes.

Idea

For most parents in America, "The Talk" meant that awkward conversation about the birds and the bees. For black parents, there was an entirely different uncomfortable "talk." It was the conversation about what it meant to grow up black in America, and the things their children had to face along the way because of their race—from overcoming biased standards of beauty, to surviving encounters with the police.

One scene shows a mother telling her daughter what to do when she gets pulled over by the Police. "But I'm a good driver, Mom." Mom explains, "This is not about you getting a ticket, it's about you coming home."

Note it is "when you get pulled over", not if.

The film spanned several decades to show that while many things have changed, "The Talk" had remained the same.

With "The Talk," the goal was to create a film that most black Americans could relate to in some way. The film was launched online and on social media, so that everyone, regardless of race, could join in on the discussion.

P&G purchased an entire episode of "Black-ish", where the cast and family discussed "The Talk". In the show, Anthony Anderson plays a father and employee at an advertising firm. The full-length version of "The Talk" commercial was woven into the show as if his advertising firm created it.

Results

The film got over 1.4 billion impressions and over 7 million views ultimately getting everyone to talk about race in a productive way. 55% of impressions coming from earned PR on over 300 national, local and special-interest news networks.

Adweek named it as one of the top ten Best Ads of 2017.

Our Thoughts

Elsewhere in this issue we've talked about the risks of brands getting into politics.

It isn't hard to find plenty of angry comments about this video. National Review calls it "offensive" and says: "P&G should stand for quality consumer goods, not empty Protest & Grumble that divides more than it unites."

The great Abraham Lincoln once remarked, "You can't please all of the people all of the time." Nor should you try. Many CEOs think that anyone and everyone is a potential customer, but marketers know this is not just unachievable but undesirable. In many ways, your enemies define you better than your friends. They certainly provide your friends good reason to declare their friendship, and I think that's what is happening here. P&G's many friends are rallying to the cause.

Well, one of their biggest brands is called Bold, isn't it?

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