Ad of the Day: It Wouldn’t Be Mother’s Day Without P&G Making You Weep

Revisiting Molly Hincka and her mom

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Procter & Gamble, the self-described "Proud sponsor of moms," always has something special planned for Mother's Day. Last year, it was the spot with Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Maria Shriver. This year, the company has revived one of the great early entries in Wieden + Kennedy's "Thank you, mom" campaign for another run.

The tear-jerker of a spot, titled "What I See," stars Special Olympics athlete Molly Hincka and her mother Kerry, who provides the emotional voiceover. It's simply and nicely crafted, beginning in the present day and traveling into the past through old video footage and photos. It ends on a lovely moment with Kerry holding Molly aloft a baby.

"They felt that she would never walk and she would never talk," Kerry says. "I never saw the things my child couldn't do. I only imagined what she could."

The spot first aired way back in 2011, and also got a modest amount of views when it was reposted to the Special Olympics YouTube page earlier this year. But it predated P&G's first truly major viral success in the "Thank you, mom" campaign—2012's "Best Job" spot, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. And so, P&G clearly feels like it deserves (and can get away with) a revival.

"What I See" is now front and center now on P&G's YouTube page, with 5 million views since the latest version was posted April 27. (Many of those are paid views, as P&G is inserting the ad into YouTube search results under the heading "Happy Mother's Day.")

The ad ends with a link to donations. In honor of Mother's Day, P&G will be matching Special Olympics donations up to $200,000 through June 1. Give at

Client: Procter & Gamble

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Creative Directors: Karl Lieberman / Danielle Flagg / Eric Baldwin
Copywriter: Tatum Shaw / Darcy Burrell
Art Director: Ken Meyer / Matthew Carroll
Producer: Jennifer Fiske
Account Team: Eric Gabrielson / Jesse Johnson / Jordan Cappadocia
Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff / Susan Hoffman / Joe Staples
Agency Executive Producer: Ben Grylewicz

Production Company: Anonymous Content
Director: Malcolm Venville
Executive Producer: Dave Morrison
Line Producer: John Benet
Director of Photography: Dion Beebe

Editorial Company: Joint
Editor: Kyle Valenta
Post Producer: Shelli Jury
Post Executive Producer: Patty Brebner

VFX Company: A52
Flame Artist: Paul Yacono
VFX Producer: Megan Meloth
Titles/Graphics: Brand New School

Music+Sound Company: Stimmung
Composer: Chip Jenkins
Producer: Ceinwyn Clark

Mix Company: Lime
Mixer: Loren Silber
Producer: Jessica Locke

Photo Retouching: Amy Corcoran

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.