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Procter & Gamble

#LikeAGirl Campaign
By: Gabriella Ach, Shaley Bagan, Meghan Brady & Erik Masingill

Table of Contents

Case Study:
Overview

History of the Brand

3-4

The Challenge

4-6

Methods

Timeline

7-9

Media
Strengths & Weaknesses

9
9-11

Impact

11-12

References:

13-14

Overview:
The #LikeAGirl campaign is aimed at changing the way young girls interpret the words
like a girl. The phrase like a girl generally has a negative connotation attached to it, and
because of this, Always saw a call for action. Always, a womans feminine product company
released a video on June 26, 2014, in an effort to improve self-confidence among young women.
The video featured a number of young women, they were asked to act out what it looks like to
run like a girl, throw like a girl and fight like a girl. The #LikeAGirl campaign was
inspired by research that the number of young girls with confidence and body image issues has
increased to 87% in recent years.1 Always partnered with director Lauren Greenfield to create a
series of videos to re-invent the perception of the term ...like a girl.

History of the brand:


In 1837, William Procter, a candle maker and John Gamble, a soap maker, joined

together in business after marrying the Norris sisters. The company was founded on
innovation. The two became branding innovators, distinctly marking the candle crates with a
Moon and Stars image. From the start, they gained such a strong brand loyalty that people would
refuse to buy other candles without the Moon and Stars image to ensure that they were real.
Throughout the years, they have pioneered many techniques: artwork in advertising in 1896, the
use of celebrities in advertising in 1910 with Gillette and pro baseball players, created the first
society makeup brand for the everyday woman in 1920, began advertising on airwaves in 1923
with Cisco, the first use of coupons with lava soap in 1925, created the first soap opera in the
30s, in 1935 Procter & Gamble expanded globally and many more. In the more recent years,
P&G has continued to be technological innovators in branding. In 1996, P&Gs first website
was introduced, and they continued to pioneer campaign models including the online community
management in 2005 and Olympic campaign in 2012.

Today, Procter & Gamble serves approximately 4.8 billion people around the world with
its brands. They have chosen to have individual brands for each product item rather than using
their name as an umbrella brand. Starting with makeup in the 1920s, P&G started making
products just for women. In 1983, P&G introduced the feminine care brand, Always. Always,
along with a few other P&G brands, Covergirl, Tampax, Olay, and Pantene led the #LikeAGirl
campaign.
The challenge:
Historically, Procter & Gamble has tended to a dominantly female market. The brand
wanted to associate their products to a strong societal issue. In addressing issues among the main
supporters of their company, P&G sought to bridge the gap between the tension that so widely
exists in how society views women, and how women view themselves.
When researching self-esteem in young girls in contrast to self-esteem in adulthood,
research showed that there was a significant drop during the early teen years. In fact, only 11%
of teens feel confident during the early teen years. As a distributor of female products, Procter &
Gamble took it upon themselves to create a campaign that encouraged the strength and
importance of women. The research by Procter & Gamble showed that the vast decrease in
confidence happened between the early teens through the early twenties.
Filmmaker and producer of the #LikeAGirl videos, Lauren Greenfield, expressed her
passion for the bad stigma against what it means to be a woman. In order to show girls during
this critical time of teenhood that doing things like a girl can also mean winning the race,
Procter & Gamble teamed up with Always to redefine this weak connotation. The call to action
for these companies was to extend the message for girls to always be proud and confident.
Labeling the way they behave and perform actions, as their gender should not be insulting, but
supportive and praiseworthy.

P&G learned how gender stereotypes not only are seen in media, but also in sports and
school. They also play a huge factor in lowering the confidence of young teenage girls entering
the stage of puberty. P&G teamed with Always to conduct a social experiment. People of various
ages were asked to demonstrate a visual of acting like a girl. P&G revealed a few empowering
statistics that scream for action from its study:
More than half of girls (about 1 out of 2 or 56%) claimed to experience a drop in
confidence at puberty ... The advice most females would give to their younger selves is
youre not alone and youre not as awkward as you feel only 19% of girls have a
positive association toward the phrase like a girl3.
Female stereotypes arent just lowering the confidence in young girls; they are hindering their
perceptions in sports and abilities in mathematics. Female athletes train daily just as male
athletes do to maintain their conditions and performance at a high rate. The issue though lies
with the media, which rather concentrates on body image than physical capabilities:
An analysis of the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament found that women were
evaluated on their appearance while men were evaluated on their athletic ability.4

Audiences perceive female athletes they view in the media to be smaller, thinner, and
more petite than they are.5
The social experiment with Always revealed much more about female perception and identity.
Society has manipulated female athletes to also abide by the standard cultural view of a womans
body. Its as if women are instructed to look a certain way in society if they want to be perceived
as beautiful:
Unique to female athletes is the conflicting pressure to conform to Western culture body
ideals while also meeting sport body ideals the socially desirable body type and the
athletic body type often conflict, as evidence by female athletes reporting the need to be
strong, muscular, and powerful for their sport, yet also wanted to fit the societal ideal by
avoiding being perceived as too muscular. 6
Yes, this issue affects young girls, female athletes, and now female math and science students.
Cultural beliefs from the 19th century taught that male mathematicians did not view females in
their department highly. Its a possibility history as carried over two centuries later:
The notion that women are weak in certain tasks is reflected in the unequal participation
of female students in mathematics and sciences, as compared to men the numbers of
females who take advanced mathematics courses are fewer than males the females
who continue with mathematics are fewer yet Ancient father of mathematics,
Pythagoras, believed the female cranium was too small to hold a powerful brain for math.
Whether its running like a girl, looking like a girl or studying math like a girl, Always has
proven these phrases are interpreted as negative connotations. These research findings inform us
the problem affects more females than just young teenage girls going through puberty. The
phrase like a girl heavily represents female athletes, students, and professionals.

Methods:
Always Puberty & Confidence Study was conducted using the Research Now Panel that
surveyed 1,300 American females between the ages of 16 and 24. The survey studied women of
all races and ethnic backgrounds and found that 89% of these women had a decrease in
confidence in early teenhood.
#LikeAGirl campaign was created to increase awareness of using the phrase like a girl
in a negative terms. Always and Lauren Greenfields objectives for the campaign were to raise
awareness of how words can impact issues of self-confidence and body image. The output
objectives were to create a series of videos on YouTube that show how women and men of all
ages interpret the phrase like a girl.
The company set up an initiative in which they asked people of all ages to tweet, post on
Facebook, and Instagram photos of using #LikeAGirl in a positive light. They showcased these
on their website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Timeline:
Procter & Gambles products, mainly womens products, have been launching campaigns

for the past ten years in support of women empowerment and helping to rid the negative view
our society has towards women. As shown, Procter & Gambles supporters have been working to
make women feel strong, beautiful, smart and powerful.
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Unilever, which is Procter & Gambles competitor, launched the Dove Real Beauty

Campaign in 2004 after market research showed that only 2% of women viewed themselves as
beautiful. This lends knowledge to the probable reason that Procter & Gamble decided to launch
campaigns designed for women empowerment. The goal for Procter & Gamble in the pursuit of

these empowerment campaigns was to build brand loyalty in women so that they will be more
inclined to start using the P&G products on a daily basis as women enter adulthood.

2004: Unilever, P&Gs competitor launches Dove Real Beauty Campaign after market
research showed that only 2% of women view themselves as beautiful.

November 2013: P&Gs Pantene: #ShineStrong: Labels Against Women video about
how the same behavior between genders is viewed differently in our society.

February 2014: P&Gs Covergirl: #GirlsCan video about all the things that girls can do
without buying mascara.

May 2014: Always sponsored a survey by Research Now to study the harmful effects of
diminishing the strength in women, specifically during the stage of puberty

June 2014: P&Gs Pantene: #ShineStrong Campaign: Not Sorry video about how
women apologize too much.

June 26th, 2014: P&Gs Always: #LikeAGirl campaign started: released video about the
negative connotations associated with being a girl and the shift that happens between
puberty and womanhood.

July 3, 2014: Professional female athletes respond to the #LikeAGirl campaign.

By July 7, 2014 #LikeAGirl had 101,679 posts

As of December 8, 2014, the #LikeAGirl video has close to 53 million views on


YouTube.
After the video was released, it gained much traction with female athletes around the

country.9 After watching the video, many female athletes spoke out about the strength and power
that should come with the words, like a girl. Among many other female Olympians and
professionals, Kacy Martinez, X Games Moto X Enduro gold medalist, commented on what it
means to ride like a girl. I love the campaign because it's changing the meaning of 'like a girl' to
being a positive thing. Being a professional dirt bike racer I hear 'you ride like a girl' all the time.
Growing up when I would hear that I always thought I was doing something wrong, but then I
realized I do ride like a girl! In dirt bike riding there is a difference between a man and a

woman's riding style, but it doesn't mean we can't accomplish anything that they can. I am
making a living at it and accomplishing a lot of things that guys dream about! If I didn't ride like
a girl, I wouldn't have won an X Games Gold medal or all my championships.10

Media:
One of the most successful impacts of the #LikeAGirl campaign was the use of the
amount of video shares and the number of hashtags that came with it. Always created a video
that was shared 600,000+ times on Facebook and 60,000+ on Twitter. The hashtag #LikeAGirl
has been used on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Vine and Tumblr, with
countless shares on each platform. The main tactics used were Twitter, Instagram and
YouTube. Always made is an interactive campaign by asking Twitter followers to tweet all the
amazing things that you do #LikeAGirl. Always made this both an interactive campaign as well
as a contest by posting the favorite tweets on the companys website. Overall, there were over 4
billion media impressions and viewed over 75 million times globally.11
Always also partnered with many organizations all over the world to promote selfconfidence in adolescent girls. The partnerships included: UNESCO, BeingGirl, Ban Bossy
(along with Girl Scouts), and Puberty Education. Always has provided countless resources to
educate parents and adolescent girls about the changes they are going through. These resources
could be accessed through the Always website, but was not easily accessed through the video
shares. This gave viewers a view into what it means to act #LikeAGirl, but did not provide links
or opportunities to get involved with the partnering organizations that work to empower women
around the world.12
Strengths & Weaknesses:
The #LikeAGirl campaign succeeded in starting a conversation about the misconception
of women. The campaign succeeded in engaging both men and women in the idea of changing

the way our society views women, simply by touching on the subject of the tension between how
women should view themselves, the way they actually view themselves, and the way society
views them. With 4 billion media impressions and counting, the conversation continues. After
six months of the campaign, it is difficult to see the finality of it, and to see the direct impact it
has made on women as a whole. The video has reached over 53 million views on YouTube, so
the question remains whether or not the hashtag really has made an impact or not. Hashtags are
great for creating unity amongst a group of people and to get an idea trending in the minds of
media consumers. But do hashtags achieve more than that? Could this campaign have gone
farther than just a video and a hashtag? The truth about hashtags and getting them trending is that
trends do die out. The hashtag #LikeAGirl may have lingered on newsfeeds for days or even
weeks after the video was released, but do we even think about the hashtag or the Always
campaign anymore? Pointing viewers to the global scale of the many partnerships including
UNESCO, BeingGirl, Ban Bossy and Puberty Education would have helped create an active
response, instead of getting caught up in the normal ebb and flow of a popular video that is then
wiped from newsfeeds and minds alike. Hashtags may enlighten minds to unpopular beliefs and
change perceptions for a small amount of time, but they fail to ignite change without providing
other resources to help.
Always Puberty & Confidence Study was conducted using the Research Now Panel that
surveyed 1,300 American females between the ages of 16 and 24. The survey studied women of
all races and ethnic backgrounds and found that 89% of these women had a decrease in
confidence in early the early teenage years. The #LikeAGirl campaign was created to increase
awareness of using the phrase like a girl in a negative terms. Always and Lauren Greenfields
objectives for the campaign were to raise awareness of how words can impact issues of self-

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confidence and body image. The output objectives were to create a series of videos on YouTube
that show how women and men of all ages interpret the phrase like a girl.
The company set up an initiative in which they asked people of all ages to tweet, post on
Facebook, and Instagram photos of using #LikeAGirl in a positive light. They showcased these
on their website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Impact:
According to USA Today, Always contributes to over one fifth of Procter & Gambles
sales. Deciding to stir emotions in both consumers and non-consumers of Always products was
not a coincidence. Looking at the financial impact that Always has on the Procter & Gamble
brand as a whole, it is no surprise that the brand attempted to ignite change and create brand
loyalty to this feminine product.13
According to the P&G 2014 Annual Report, Baby, Feminine and Family Care net sales
increased 2% to $21 billion in 2014 on 4% volume growth. Because the fiscal year for Procter
& Gamble ends on June 30 each year, this 2% increase likely didnt spike after the #LikeAGirl
campaign, seeing that the video was just released four days before the fiscal year ended. The
2015 Annual Report would give much better insight into the financial impact of the #LikeAGirl
campaign.14
Although this campaign is only six months old, #LikeAGirl has already gotten incredible
feedback. As of October 2014, P&G won a CLIO award for its work on the campaign. This is an
award that is given for outstanding advertising, design, and communications.15
In its case study, P&G did an effective job applying four of the seven Arthur Page
Principles. P&G told the truth by informing the public on the severity of this issue through its
social experiment. The research findings were efficient in promoting P&Gs practices, ideals and
character. The study gave P&G the opportunity to prove its ideals with action, such as raising

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awareness, modifying attitudes and introducing new behaviors. Carrying out these objectives
indicate that P&G is working to manage for tomorrow and generate goodwill for this issue.
Lastly, the employees of P&G who work to operate this campaign shape the general opinions on
the company. As a result, P&Gs true character is expressed by the members of the #LikeAGirl
campaign.

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References
1

"Procter & Gamble." New Social Experiment by Always Reveals Harmful Impact Commonly

Used Phrase Has on Girls. P&G, 26 June 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.
2

"Branding." P&G Corporate Heritage & Archives Center. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.

Banjong, D. N. (2014). Same Performance but Different Perception: Female Stereotypes in


Mathematics Emerge in Fifth Grade. International Online Journal Of Educational
Sciences, 6(2), 258-268.

Herzfeld, Stephanie. "Procter & Gamble." New Social Experiment by Always Reveals
Harmful Impact Commonly Used Phrase Has on Girls. 26 June 2014. Web. 08 Dec.
2014.

Jones, A., & Greer, J. (2011). You Don't Look Like an Athlete: The Effects of Feminine
Appearance on Audience Perceptions of Female Athletes and Women's Sports. Journal
Of Sport Behavior, 34(4), 358-377.

Steinfeldt, J. A., Zakrajsek, R. A., Bodey, K. J., Middendorf, K. G., & Martin, S. B. (2013).
Role of Uniforms in the Body Image of Female College Volleyball Players. Counseling
Psychologist, 41(5), 791-819.

"The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty." The Dove Social Mission. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.

Herzfeld, Stephanie. "Procter & Gamble." New Social Experiment by Always Reveals
Harmful Impact Commonly Used Phrase Has on Girls. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.

Gilbert, Kylie. "What Professional Female Athletes Think of Always' "Like a Girl" Ad." Shape
Magazine. 3 July 2014. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.

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10

Brigham, Tori. "Examining Why Social Cause Campaigns Work - Crimson Hexagon."
Crimson Hexagon. 7 July 2014. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.

11

"Always Brands Like A Girl Campaign Makes Waves." Always Brands Like a Girl
Campaign Makes Waves. 522 Productions, 11 Aug. 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.

12

"Instituteartist.com." Instituteartist.com. Institute, 31 July 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.

13

Coolidge, Alexander. "E's Global Reach Changing." USA Today. N.p., 7 Sept. 2014. Web. 8
Dec. 2014.

14

"P&G 2014 Annual Report." 2014 Annual Report (2014): n. pag. P&G Investor. Procter &
Gamble. Web.

15

"Leo Burnett's "#LikeAGirl" For P&G Always Awarded With Highly Coveted Grand CLIO
Award." PR Newswire. N.p., 2 Oct. 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.

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