P&G’s First Multi-Brand Super Bowl Ad Is All About ‘Constructive Disruption’

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In Procter & Gamble’s upcoming Super Bowl spot, a bowl of chili has hit the fan—literally—at Sofia Vergara’s house party, and she’s turning to America for assistance with the cleanup.

In the company’s first multi-brand commercial, P&G is asking viewers to get involved by visiting WhenWeComeTogether.com, an interactive site that allows users to direct the actions of Vergara and her guests. The most popular narrative, as chosen by viewers, will become the 60-second spot’s final version aired during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game.

“Most brands ask fans to watch their ads; we’re asking them to help create it,” Marc Pritchard, P&G’s chief brand officer, told Adweek in an exclusive interview.

The video opens by asking viewers to select the general vibe of the party: ’80s saxophone or ’90s piano? Things get messy fast, and viewers are led down diverging and converging side plots (including an interaction between Olay spokeswoman Busy Philipps and the Charmin bear), dead ends, and two versions of comedian and actor Rob Riggle as the physical embodiment of Bounty’s “Quicker Picker Upper” tagline.

The ad is P&G’s latest example of what Pritchard likes to call “constructive disruption,” which aims to reinvent how brands get built through advertising, even if that means seeing less of it.

“We’re trying to merge the ad world with other creative worlds, such as entertainment, sports and technology,” Pritchard said. “That’s kind of what this is about. It’s coming up with an innovative way to make advertising more superior, more useful and more interesting.”

The idea behind P&G’s multi-brand spot began with the interactive format, powered by media and technology company Eko. Once aware of the possibility, several brands in the Procter & Gamble family began discussing how they could all exist in the same universe at the same time.

“It’s their choice,” Pritchard said, noting that not all brands thought it made sense to join. Tide, for instance, decided to sit this one out and create its own ad instead.

The trick was agreeing on a scenario in which all the products could play a role, while showcasing their usefulness. Without offering any specific examples, Pritchard said a few concepts were tossed around, with a messy party in need of cleanup becoming the ideal setting.

As he put it, Pritchard wants ads that “become part of the content” as opposed to outside of it, because that approach engages people “in a different way that’s memorable, and still reinforces the superiority of the product, which, at the end of the day, is what we need to do.”

And despite the ever-evolving advertising ecosystem, Pritchard said running a commercial during the Super Bowl is worth the investment because it’s not confined to one night. The buzz typically last for weeks, both before and after the game.

“It’s not just the ad itself,” Pritchard explained.

The Super Bowl is also an opportunity to raise standards and push for more precisely because the expectations are so high, he added.

P&G’s upcoming Super Bowl spot will feature Bounty, Mr. Clean, Febreze, Olay, Charmin, Old Spice and Head & Shoulders, along with their corresponding mascots and spokespeople, such as Troy Polamalu and Isaiah Mustafa.

P&G brands Olay and Tide are also airing their own Super Bowl spots.

For all the latest Super Bowl advertising news—who’s in, who’s out, teasers, full ads and more—check out Adweek’s Super Bowl 2020 Ad Tracker. And join us on the evening of Feb. 2 for the best live coverage of the commercials anywhere.

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