Downy Uses Facebook and Twitter to Inform Digital Out-of-Home Campaign

P&G brand's offline creative will reflect social media engagement

Headshot of Christopher Heine

It's not easy getting back to work the week after Labor Day. That's what Procter & Gamble's Downy was thinking with its "Softside" campaign whose fabric sculptures like the example shown above have the frazzled officeworker in mind. 

The initiative, with the socially-driven tagline "Bring out the #Softside", is anchored by digital out-of-home (DOOH) billboards that are running in 12 major markets, along with mobile devices and desktops ads. But notably, the digital out-of-home billboards will be updated regularly based on what generates the most engagement on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

"It's one of the strongest social efforts we've done," said Eric Gruen, Fabric Care Digital Brand Manager at P&G. "We wanted to go big with digital out-of-home. We have used [DOOH] in the past when we've wanted to amplify. However, we've never used digital out-of-home to amplify a social-by-design initiative.

“Traditional out-of-home takes a lot of lead time and planning," he added. "Digital out-of-home, we can make the decisions at the snap of a finger if we think it can resonate with consumers."

The P&G brand said the soft sculptures also will be featured as creative via "a significant investment" in Facebook promos, as well as display ads across leading women-focused Web sites. Downy enlisted so-called lifestyle influencers with strong social-media followings to create Softside content on channels such as Instagram and Vine.

Overall, the campaign was timed to coincide with Fashion Week, which launched this morning. Softside represents the first work by 360i since it landed Downy's digital account a few months ago.

Per Kantar Media, the brand invested $2.1 million last year on display advertising alone while spending $3.2 million during 2011. And according to the WPP-owned research firm, Downy doled out $248,000 on display during 2013's first quarter while putting $401,000 into the ads in the same period last year.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.