While most of the ad industry is busy buzzing about Super Bowl XLVIII, let's not forget that other massive sporting event (i.e., branding opportunity) on the horizon: the 2014 Winter Olympics. Procter & Gamble certainly isn't overlooking the Sochi games, and in classic wholesome Midwestern fashion, the company has already started rolling out its latest installment of the long-running, tearjerking "Thank you, Mom" campaign celebrating the matriarchs behind athletes everywhere.
Despite focusing on a quartet of icy winter sports, the new spot, "Pick Them Back Up," is as warm and fuzzy as it gets. The video follows four future athletes—a skier, ice skater, snowboarder and hockey player—from their first (not so successful) baby steps to their Olympic debuts. But the ad isn't really about the athletes, of course. It's about the dedicated moms who were there to pick them up when they fell (which is quite a lot), ice their bruises and warm their freezing toes—and send them back out to try again.
Whether or not you've ever actually been a parent, it's pretty hard not to get a little misty about "Pick Them Back Up." The spot, by Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore. (and director Lance Acord, who previously did Nike's "Jogger" spot through W+K), has all the essential ingredients for a successful heartwarmer, from adorable tumbling babies and determined kids to painful disappointment followed by well-deserved triumph (plus a great cinematic score). And it manages to stop short of becoming too cloying.
The public seems to agree: The two-minute video, which will make its TV premiere on Sunday during the Golden Globe Awards, has already racked up nearly 1.5 million views on YouTube since being posted two days ago. (The campaign actually kicked off in October with "Raising an Olympian," a film series showcasing the journey of 28 world-class athletes as seen through the eyes of their moms.)
And what about the dads, you ask? Well, when they catch up to their female counterparts as the primary purchasers of P&G products at the supermarket, maybe they'll get a little love too.
Client: Procter & Gamble
Project: "Pick Them Back Up"
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Creative Director/Copywriter: Kevin Jones
Creative Director/Art Director: Ollie Watson
Senior Producer: Erika Madison
Account Team: Eric Gabrielson / Jesse Johnson
Strategic Planner: Dave Burg
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Susan Hoffman
Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz
Production Company: Park Pictures
Director/DP: Lance Acord
Executive Producer/Owner: Jackie Kelman-Bisbee
Executive Producer: Mary Ann Marino
Line Producer: Caroline Kousidonis
Production Designer: Jason Hamilton
Editorial Company: Joint
Editor: Peter Wiedensmith
Post Producer: Ryan Shanholtzer
Post Executive Producer: Patty Brebner
Assistant Editor: Kristy Faris
VFX Company: A52
Executive Producers: Jennifer Sofio Hall / Megan Meloth
VFX Supervisor: Patrick Murphy
VFX Producer: Kim Christensen
Lead Flame Artists: Patrick Murphy / Andy Bate
Flame Artist: Steve Wolff
Roto Artists: Cathy Shaw / Robert Shaw
CG Supervisor: Kirk Shintani
CG Artists: Erin Clark / Adam Carter / Joe Chiechi
Composer: Ludovico Einaudi
Sound Designer: Peter Wiedensmith
Mix Company: Eleven
Mixer: Jeff Payne
Producer: Caroline O'Sullivan