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Carly Jimeson

October 19, 2015

COMM483 0101
SA Case Study
Always #LikeAGirl: Turning an Insult Into a Confidence Movement
2015 Silver Anvil Award Winner
Public Service Business
Always is the global leader in feminine care
consumer brands. In 2013, the company was
struggling to connect with the next generation of
consumers, specifically on social platforms. To
start a global conversation with the Millennial
generation, Always launched its #LikeAGirl
campaign. The relevancy, creativity and
authenticity to the Always brand earned this
campaign a Silver Anvil Award in 2015. This
paper will analyze the steps in developing this
campaign into an effective Public Relations
Situation Analysis
Although Always was the leader in the FemCare industry, it did not have the same
connection with Millennial consumers as competitor brands. For the younger
demographic, tampons are the primary feminine care product. Always was not appealing
to this generation because they were still focused on pads and panty-liners. In addition,
competitors were more successful engaging the emotions of millennials. Always
recognized the importance of connecting with millennial girls on social platforms to
remain the leader of the feminine care industry.
Always was looking for a way to emotionally appeal to the next generation of
consumers. Historically, Always focused on confidence in terms of their products
performance, but now it was looking to start the conversation for another, more
meaningful, understanding of confidence.
Always did not use a formal SWOT analysis, but it identified the strengths and
weaknesses of its brand while creating the campaign. The SWOT I created below
illustrates what the Always brand would have included had they made a formal SWOT
analysis prior to executing the program. The opportunities and threats were largely based
off my own personal research.

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A trend of
for Real
to start its
and lead
The issue

Global leader in
feminine care
30-year commitment to
girls empowerment
Brand focus on

Low awareness among
millennials of brand
purpose (female

FemCare category was
Competitor feminine
ready for a movement
care brands
Proven success of
Other consumer product
consumer brands
addressing social issues
(Dove Campaign for
Real Beauty)
Female empowerment as
a relevant topic

example the
Beauty, led
proven to be
in previous
the FemCare
in this trend.
of female

empowerment was a relevant topic to help ignite conversation. However, the numerous
movements also had potential to threaten Always from an effective campaign. Even
successful campaigns were criticized for authenticity when led by a consumer brand
(Chumsky, 2015). These campaigns were accused of selling a product rather than truly
caring about its public. In addition, the Always message has potential to be lost among
the various social movements.
P&G Always partnered with MSLGROUP and its agencies to create a campaign that is
relevant to the next generation while reinforcing the brands legacy. MSLGROUP
conducted research to learn more about the public and to create a strategic plan for the
MSLGROUP conducted two primary research methods to better implement their
campaign for women empowerment. They first used surveys to study the confidence of
girls going through puberty. This study helped MSLGROUP decide how to shape and
direct the entire campaign. The survey was primary research because it was being
conducted by MSLGROUP with Research Now. This survey is formal, quantitative
research because it was an empirical study resulting in statistical results.
The study surveyed 1,300 American females aged 16 to 24 years old. According
to the press release from Always, There was a nationally representative sample group of
1,000 females as well as an additional boost of 150 African American and 150 Hispanic
American females (2014). I was surprised to learn that MSLGROUP boosted two

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particular races. I attribute the boost of diversity to MSLGROUPs desire to better
understand the different perceptions of the issue and needed a higher sample for those
particular races. However with that theory, I do not understand why MSLGROUP did not
also boost Asian females.
The survey research was very important for the rest of the campaign and was vital
in its success. The results of the survey told MSLGROUP:
More than half of girls (56%) claimed to experience a drop in confidence
at puberty.
Lowest confidence moments for girls were when puberty started and when
they got their first period
The majority (89%) of females aged 16-24 agree that words can be
harmful, especially to girls. They cast doubt on how powerful a girl can
be, and can affect girls for a lifetime
This survey was vital in better understanding the target public of the campaign:
Millennial women ages 13 to 34. It was important that MSLGROUP conducted this
survey to better understand the thoughts and feelings of the public that Always desired to
connect with. The survey helped MSLGROUP understand the ages where girls
experience low confidence as well as their perception of the phrase Like A Girl. The
information about the publics gave MSLGROUP direction for the campaign. They
decided Always should empower girls during puberty because that is when their
confidence is the lowest. This is the mission that they used to drive their campaigns
strategy and message. Furthermore, understanding that 89% of females agreed that words
could be harmful shaped the purpose of the campaign in turning the insult Like A Girl
into a confidence movement.
The other research method that MSLGROUP implemented was casual/preliminary
research looking at similar campaigns and social activities that targeted millennial girls.
This was informal, primary research because it analyzed the results of other programs.
The results were qualitative because it gave MSLGROUP ideas rather than statistical
data. This research was key in developing the #LikeAGirl campaign. It helped them
identify insights to incorporate into the campaign. Those insights were:
Clear and simple articulation of idea and action needed
Authenticity is crucial
Validate insight with data points
Enlist select celebrity influencers for buzz and visibility
This information helped them decide to question the phrase Like A Girl to show the
damaging effects words can have on young women. MSLGROUP conducted an
appropriate amount of research to lead a successful and effective campaign. The survey
told them how to focus its campaign and the casual research informed them how to
successfully implement the campaign.

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The planning stage of this campaign was surprisingly weak for an award winning
public relations program. In fact, the majority of the planning section was spent
discussing one tactic: the video component. The rest of the section is the two sentences
that follow:
Always planned a global campaign to drive an emotional connection to the brand,
especially amongst Millennials, and foster popularity and brand loyalty. Out
strategy was to take the commonly-used insult like a girl and capture the subtle
yet negative power it creates to inspire a movement to change Like A Girl to
mean downright amazing.
From these sentences, as well as other portions of the campaign summary, I derived a set
of goals, objectives, strategies, messages and big idea that support the program. The only
labeled portion of the campaign was the target public: Millennial women ages 13-34.
They did not include any other publics, but I would include parents of girls going through
puberty as a secondary public, as well as celebrities and mass media as an intervening
To be recognized as a global leader in feminine care products for millennial
To have a reputation as a brand devoted to the confidence and empowerment of
girls going through puberty.
To advance social change and women empowerment.
These goals for the campaign were very clear throughout the summary, but were not
directly labeled in the planning section.
Increase followers on Twitter by 20% within two weeks of the video launch.
Achieve 2 million views of centerpiece video in the first two weeks of the
Generate 250 million media impressions (with at least 75% positive) during the
Motivate conversation on social platforms to be measured by at least 10 thousand
social media mentions using the hashtag #LikeAGirl.
The objectives also were implied throughout the various sections of the summary, but
never directly labeled. In addition, I made them SMART when writing them formally
above. The only measurable objective from the summary was for the video to reach 2
million views, but did not state a time frame for the objective. I based the majority of
these objectives off of the evaluation results that Always stated surpassed the brands
wildest expectations. If Always or MLSGROUP created SMART objectives, others
would be able to better understand the success of the campaign.

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Position Always as an advocate for female empowerment.
Adopt the phrase Like A Girl and change the insult into a rallying cry for the
confidence movement.
Emotionally connect and relate to target audience.
Reaffirm Always as the leader in feminine care products.
Partner with leaders and influencers of the target audience.
These strategies do flow from the objectives and would help Always reach the objectives.
Again, the strategies were not labeled, but I compiled them from suggestions throughout
the summary. Overall, the Big Idea of the campaign was to change the phrase Like A
Girl from an insult to a power statement. This idea will resonate with all women, but
places millennial girls at the heart of the issue. Creating this important conversation and
empowering women to do something Like A Girl will emotionally connect Always to
its target audience. Through this connection, Always will reaffirm itself as a brand
devoted to building the confidence of women. In these ways, the Big Idea connects to the
goals and the publics.
Primary message: Always is devoted to empowering their consumers, particularly the
next generation of girls.
Secondary message: Always is encouraging women to redefine the insult Like a
Girl to mean downright amazing.
Secondary message: This is continuing the Always brand history of supporting
the confidence of girls going through puberty.
The messages of the campaign are part of the reason that the program was so successful
in public relations. The messages directly targeted the goals of the program and appealed
to the emotions of the millennial generation. Female empowerment is a popular issue in
society and Always was able to flourish off that trend in a way that was still authentic to
their brand. Always used its history as an organization to create compelling and engaging
messages that would appeal to their target audience.
The conversation about confidence in girls during puberty was brought to life
through a social experiment to show the impact that the phrase Like A Girl had on
society. The campaign was centered on this social experiment, which is depicted in a
video that serves as the main component of the campaign. The video, produced by awardwinning documentarian and director Lauren Greenfield, shows how people of different
ages interpret the phrase Like A Girl.
The video begins with Greenfield giving girls directions to do something Like A
Girl. Initially, they show older girls and boys performing the tasks in a flouncy and weak
manner, as shown below in the picture on the left. These girls are reinforcing the insult
Like A Girl, even upon themselves. When young girls were asked to perform the same
tasks Like A Girl they did not hesitate to show the director how they run, throw and

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fight with confidence and strength. Greenfield asked one young girl, What does it mean
to you when I say run like a girl? and she responded, It means run as fast as you can
(Greenfield, 2014). It became clear that between puberty and adulthood, women had lost
confidence, which is exactly the issue Always wanted to address.

With a little encouragement the older girls, who initially

insulted themselves, were given another chance to do something Like A Girl and chose
to do it as themselves rather than as society has taught them. Below is an example of one
of the participants running Like herself. The video ends with one of the participants
posing the question: Why cant run like a girl also mean win the race? I believe that
this final question is what opens the conversation for Always to launch the rest of their
social campaign.

After the video was created, Always built a campaign around it to spread the
message and empower women. They encouraged their viewers to think of #LikeAGirl as
a powerful and positive statement. Introducing a hashtag was a very important step of this
strategic campaign. It allowed people to join the conversation easily and spread word on
all social media platforms. In addition, MSLGROUP actively monitored and engaged
with these conversations on Facebook and Twitter, which was important in bringing this
campaign back to the Always brand. One of the main objective for Always was to

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connect with the younger demographic on social platforms and the hashtag, as well as the
conversations, helped them to build a relationship.
The full list of tactics implemented by MSLGROUP and Always in their strategic
campaign, as they are in the summary, are as follows:
Leverage research data: MSLGROUP used tangible insights and data
from the Research Now study to bolster the campaign credibility and news
value and develop and drive content and messaging across program assets
& tactics.
Introduce hashtag: To reverse the meaning of the phrase, we introduced
the social hashtag #LikeAGirl as a rallying cry for the mission to change.
The hashtag invited participation and engagement for girls to let the world
know what inspiring things they were doing Like A Girl.
Video launch: Leveraging trade medias ability to spark extensive
consumer/business media coverage and its role as promoter of buzzworthy
creative content, the Always #LikeAGirl social experiment video was
strategically announced through an exclusive with Ad Age. The video was
unveiled via a PR launch on June 26th on Always YouTube site. Before the
videos launch, MSLGROUP pre-seeded it with key influencers and
bloggers, asking them to share it on their social platforms to help spark
early word of mouth and begin viral spreading that would fuel traditional
media coverage coinciding with the launch.
Strategic media outreach: Following the launch, we reached out to
online and broadcast media, capitalizing on the surge of female
empowerment movements. This approach, combined with influencer
seeding, ensured continual robust coverage across traditional and social
media categories, driving consumer and media buzz.
Engaging celebrities: We engaged celebrities including Vanessa Hudgens
and Bella Thorne to post tweets on the campaign, chosen for their high
social reach and relevance to our target audience. These sparked additional
organic celebrity tweets from Sarah Silverman, Tyler Oakley, Maria
Shriver, Cher, Kristen Bell, Chelsea Clinton and Melinda Gates, all
sharing our video and message.
Real-time news desk: MSLGROUP actively monitored and engaged with
#LikeAGirl conversations across Facebook and Twitter in real time to
amplify and maximize social sharing.
Global campaign: Based on initial success in North America, the
campaign was expanded to 20 markets.
The largest portion of their budget was rightfully placed in the video production.
If the video were not appropriately executed, it would be extremely difficult for the rest
of the campaign to take off. The only area I believe that the video might have improved

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on would be the launch. As mentioned above, the video was unveiled on June 26th off the
Always YouTube page. From my research, it seems many people attributed it to a
Superbowl commercial the next year (Berman, 2015). Perhaps if Always had coincided
the launch of the video as a commercial with a summer event, it would have reached a
wider audience. That being said, the video was still a massive success without using it as
a television commercial during the launch.
Always may have chosen to launch the video on YouTube to reestablish the
authenticity of the campaign. Launching the video as a commercial could heighten the
threat of the program being purely to sell Always products, rather than to benefit Always
publics through societal change.
The creativity of the Always #LikeAGirl campaign is one of the many reasons
that this campaign was so successful and received a Silver Anvil in 2015. One of the
biggest creative components of this campaign was the theme. Always selected the phrase
Like A Girl, usually used like an insult, and made it into an empowering message. This
word play is what caught the attention of the publics and ignited conversation of the
The visual element and centerpiece of the campaign showed the Always audience
the issue in a creative and emotionally stimulating way. They could see the various ages
of each girl and her emotions throughout the process. The younger girls were fierce,
while the older were ashamed of their earlier
actions. The video was able to ignite the emotions
of the viewer and connect with their target
audience. As a member of this audience, this
video made me feel connected to each of the older
girls and the Always brand.
Like A Girl is an insult that every
woman has heard or even said at one point in her
life. This video reveals a societal flaw that affects
the confidence of women. The campaign demands
an introspective look at a simple phrase. In an
effort to empower women, Always has shown its
public the power of words. The concept and idea
behind this campaign was so moving and believed
to be so important that celebrities including Maria
Shriver, Chelsea Clinton and Kristen Bell engaged
Always with organic tweets on the campaign. In
addition, Always reached out to Vanessa Hudgens
and Bella Thorne in the planning of the campaign.
These two celebrities had been chosen based on
their ability to reach the targeted public.

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Always execution of the campaign was extremely well done in relation to the research
they conducted and the objectives for the organization. They were able to use the brand
legacy of confidence and create a conversation that resonated throughout the world.
The campaign was a great success from both a public relations perspective and a societal
perspective. The video quickly went viral and the topic was quickly trending around the
world. This program met each of its goals and surpassed each of its objectives.
The outcomes of the campaign are as follows:
81% of women 16-24 support Always in creating a movement to reclaim like a
girl as a positive and inspiring statement
The video achieved 76MM total global video views on YouTube from 150
countries (90% from the 20-country activation)
1 million+ people shared the video, 35,000 commented and user-generated
content was 13%
The program achieved 4.5 billion impressions around the globe, including 1.7bn
in the U.S., 1.6bn in the UK, 418m in France, 302m in China, 148m in Germany,
63m in Brazil, 41m in Mexico and 32m in Turkey
More than 1,880+ earned media placements were secured around the globe,
o A TV segment with #1 U.S. morning show GMA that resulted in a Yahoo
o #1 spot for AdWeeks Top 5 Commercials of the Week for June 20-27;
#2 Spot for Ad Ages Viral Chart on 7/1
o Coverage on top influential media sites including BBC, Huffington Post,, Mashable, BuzzFeed & Time
The program garnered more than 290 million social impressions and 133
thousand social mentions with #LikeAGirl (99% positive/neutral) in the U.S.
#LikeAGirl trended on Facebook from 6/30-7/1 and increased Always Twitter
followers by 195.3%
Because I created the objectives based off the results of the campaign, it does not make
sense for me to relate the results to the objectives. Instead I will focus on the overall goals
of the campaign and how these results support those goals.
To be recognized as a global leader in feminine care by millennial women.
This campaign was created so that Always could connect with the next generation of
girls. Competitor brands were more emotionally appealing, but this campaign directly
targeted millennial girls and made them recognize the Always brand. The social
experiment video went viral with over 76 million total views in 150 different countries.

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Building this campaign on social media platform also allowed Always to directly engage
in two-way communication with the millennial girls. They encouraged the conversation
about #LikeAGirl and created 290 million social impressions as a result.
To have a reputation as a brand devoted to the confidence and empowerment of
girls going through puberty.
I believe the most powerful statistic resulting in this campaign is, 81% of women 16-24
support Always in creating a movement to reclaim like a girl as a positive and inspiring
statement. This shows how women vast support that women have toward Always
leading a social movement for increased confidence in young girls.
To advance social change and women empowerment.
The issue of female empowerment at the heart of this campaign went viral as a trending
topic for multiple days, created celebrity attention and achieved 4.5 billion impressions
across the globe. In addition to this statistical proof that a conversation was ignited by the
campaign, post campaign research shows that The majority of women (67 percent) who
were aware of the #LikeAGirl video agree that the perception of the phrase should be
changed, while less than half (49 percent) of those unaware of the video agree (Always,
My Perspective
One of the most important lessons studying this case has taught me is that a
successful and effective public relations program is built on thorough research and
understanding of the issues, opportunities and publics. The Always campaign was built to
appeal emotionally to a public that was more connected to competitor brands. They
created a program that focused on an issue close to their publics and executed the
program on its publics primary platform. The research MSLGROUP conducted for
Always shaped the campaign into a successful program. Without a thorough
understanding of each of these areas, the campaign would not have been as effective.
This campaign was so compelling and impressive because of its creativity.
Always used an insult that was familiar to all women and turned it into a power
statement. The video allowed the audience to see and feel the emotion of each of the
participants. In addition, the campaign sparked a conversation that demanded each
woman take an introspective look at herself.
I was also very impressed with Always use of their authentic brand. In the
situation analysis I mentioned that the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, which is one of
the campaigns MSLGROUP researched. The main difference between these two
campaigns is that Dove promotes female empowerment while still projecting women to
the necessity of being beautiful (Chumsky, 2015). Always is promoting that girls find the
confidence in themselves to be whoever they wish to be. Always message is more
authentic and has very little to do with selling a product.

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I was surprised at the small amount of formal planning that went into this
campaign. MSLGROUP spent a lot of time conducting research and gaining insights into
the societal issue and public, but no time creating goals, objectives or messages. Without
SMART objectives it is impossible to really measure the success of the campaign.
Always claimed that the program succeeded all expectations, but there were no
expectations without measurable objectives. In the other areas of the summary I was able
to gain enough information to create a possible planning section for the organization, so it
seems like poor public relations practice that they did not formally write out their own
objectives and strategies.
Overall, the success of this public relations program cannot be denied. Its 2015
Silver Anvil Award, as well as a 2015 Emmy for Outstanding Commercial, 2014 Grand
Clio Award, a Cannes Grand Prix and several other awards, are well deserved (Nudd,
2015). This campaign was successful in leveraging the brands legacy of supporting girls
as they make the transition at puberty to young women.

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Works Cited
Always. Always, Together with Millions of Girls Around the World, Including Olympic
Hockety Star Hilary Knight, Determined to Make #LikeAGirl Mean Amazing
Things. Business Wire. 3 Mar. 2015. Web. 1 Oct. 2015.
Always #LikeAGirl: Turning an Insult Into A Confidence Movement. 2015 Silver Anvil
Awards. Public Relations Society of America, 2015. Web. 15 Sep. 2015.
Always. New Social Experiment by Always Reveals Harmful Impact Commonly Used
Phrase Has on Girls. Business Wire. 26 June 2014. Web. 1 Oct. 2015.
Berman, Jillian. Why That Like A Girl Super Bowl Ad Was So Groundbreaking.
Huffington Post Business. 2 Feb. 2015. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.
Center, A.H.; Jackson, P.; Smith, S. & Stansberry, F. (2013). Public Relations Practices:
Managerial Case Studies and Problems, 8th edition. Upper Saddle River, New
Jersey: Prentice Hall. Print.
Chumsky, Susan. Why Doves Choose Beautiful campaign sparked backlash. Fortune.
15 Apr. 2015. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.
Greenfield, Lauren. Always #LikeAGirl. Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 26
June 2014. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.
Nudd, Tim. Always Like A Girl Adds the 2015 Emmy Award to Its Haul of Trophies.
AdWeek. 14 Sept. 2015. Web. 6 Oct. 2015.