P&G’s new ad a big risk

Com­mer­cial tack­les is­sue of racial bias, does not pro­mote prod­ucts.

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - By Rus­sell Con­tr­eras and Corey Williams ‘The Talk’

It’s a sim­ple mes­sage: Be­ware of racism in the United States.

But Proc­ter & Gam­ble took a cal­cu­lated risk with its ad that features black moth­ers speak­ing to chil­dren about racial bias through the decades. The com­pany says it knew there might be a back­lash — and the ad has been crit­i­cized as be­ing anti-po­lice or anti-white. But it says it felt af­ter hear­ing from con­sumers that the ad would be worth it.

“The Talk,” which makes no men­tion of any P&G prod­uct, has been the talk of so­cial me­dia.

The ad is part of a shift by some cor­po­ra­tions that are mak­ing emo­tional ap­peals to con­sumers by tread­ing into ter­ri­tory that could be po­lar­iz­ing. But ex­perts say there are likely to be more of these ads, as com­pa­nies seek younger cus­tomers who re­spond to them.

“Brands just can’t push their mes­sages out there,” said Luis Gar­cia, pres­i­dent and lead strate­gist of

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

In this Proc­ter & Gam­ble com­mer­cial, a mother (left) talks to her daugh­ter about racial bias. The Proc­ter & Gam­ble ad­ver­tise­ment is part of a trend as firms seek younger cus­tomers who re­spond to them.

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