By Barry Janoff
May 9, 2012: Procter & Gamble division Gillette this week will unveil a pair of TV commercials, each with a member of Team USA scheduled to compete in the 2012 Olympics.
The spots feature track and field star Tyson Gay and swimmer Ryan Lochte, respectively, who are part of a group of 24 athletes from 18 countries who will represent the male grooming brand at the Summer Games in London.
Gay and Lochte are the only athletes from the U.S, on the Gillette roster, which also includes tennis icon Roger Federer (Switzerland), NBA star Manu Ginobili (Argentina), badminton great and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Lin Dan (China) and premiere cyclist and three-time 2008 gold medal winner Sir Chris Hoy (Great Britain).
Gay's commercial, "Mind Games," and Lochte's spot are the first salvos in Gillette's Olympic umbrella campaign, which in turn is part of P&G’s support of the 2012 Olympics that encompasses more than a dozen brands, such as Tide, CoverGirl, Duracell, Head & Shoulders, Bounty and Pantene.
In "Mind Games," we follow Gay as he prepares for a 100-meter event, in which he will compete in London. "You get in the zone long before the race," states a voiceover. "Get your head right, in focus. On race day, you don't leave anything to chance."
As Gay and the other athletes take off from their starting blocks, the scene cuts to a bathroom, where Gay is shaving with a limited-edition gold handle Gillette Fusion ProGlide.
"Get set every morning with Gillette Fusion ProGlide," the voiceover continues. As Gay crosses the finish line ahead of the competition, we are told, "Great starts begin with Gillette Fusion ProGlide." (See the full spot here.)
Gillette will support with print, Internet and dedicated social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Gillette's lead agency is BBDO, New York.
Gay competed in the 2008 Olympics but failed to medal due in part to a hamstring injury. He has won numerous gold medals in world championship, world cup and world athletics events.
Lochte won two golds and two bronze medals in Beijing (but was overshadowed by the eight gold medal performance of teammate Michael Phelps).
P&G has been aligned with the Olympics for about 75 years. The consumer products company is now entering it's first Summer Games as an official top tier global partner with the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee and second overall following the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. The company's current deal with the IOC runs through the 2020 Olympics.
“We think Gillette’s program is the perfect start to P&G’s Olympic Games program,” Marc Pritchard, P&G global marketing and brand building officer, said in January when the Gillette roster of athletes was unveiled “[Among] them, these athletes have earned 18 world records and 55 world championships and they embody the commitment to excellence that inspires us as a company.”
"These athletes have earned 18 world records and 55 world championships and they embody the commitment to excellence that inspires us as a company.”
According to GIllette, Gay, Lochte and the other athletes "exemplify [the brand's] conviction that in athletics, and in life, a great start can make all the difference" and that the key to success in many sports "can be linked to proper preparation and an athlete’s action in the first milliseconds, not necessarily the final moments of the contest."
Gillette said it intends to inspire future generations of Olympians by "telling powerful, personal stories that illustrate the importance of a great start from the athletes’ perspective."
The men's grooming division also said it wants to "reinforce Gillette’s role in helping more than 800 million men around the world begin their day with a close, comfortable shave, a key part of their grooming ritual that helps them give them a great start to their day so they can look, feel and be their best."