P&G’s Always Gets Into Augmented Reality (Um, What?)

By Matt Van Hoven 

It’s a little devious of us to have asked Proctor & Gamble to send a video of their newest campaign piece for Always, an augmented reality thang, and then post it on YouTube and then here, given what we’re about to say. But that’s what happens. This campaign is complete crap.

What it is: a wand pulling a bunny out of a top hat. The end. Maybe if it showed young women how to apply a pad, P&G would have an excuse to use AR.

Zugara, at least, made a program that lets you try on clothes (sorta) and GE, of course, basically did it first.

P&G pitched the AR piece to you ladies as magic, which of course it isn’t. This is the kind of advertising that reiterates how ineffective “look at me” work truly is. It’s also annoying and dilutes the power of this new tool for those who have salient ideas for how to use it.

Maybe the intended audience doesn’t yet know about AR and will like this. Either way, the balls is that in their pitch to AgencySpy, P&G writes, “Procter & Gamble has long been known for elevating marketing to a science &#151 today, it pulls science into marketing. P&G is launching a new print ad campaign for its Always feminine care brand, utilizing ‘augmented reality’ technology to showcase the features of new Always Infinity pads. The company remains at the helm of digital marketing with this campaign, which provides a new experiential interface to communicate in two-way dialogue with the consumer.”

Straight out of the gate they admit that yes, this is science (dressed up as magic to dupe women into buying their pads, huzzah!). Furthermore, “remains at the helm of digital” is simply not true. Others have used AR (cue GE, Zugara, Microsoft) and have done so without using the technology just for show.

And why are you telling us this is science but then saying it’s magic to consumers? Are your consumers stupid? Clearly, no one thinks it’s actually message and all will get the totally uncute joke. But as countless women sit there holding the piece of paper, don’t you think that some of them will say, “Wait, what the hell does this have to do with my menstrual cycle?”

More: “Augmented Reailty: XBOX, Zugara, Eyetoy Play with Online Shopping