In what may be the fastest turnaround of an Olympic sponsorship deal ever, Procter & Gamble signed, sealed and then delivered its first-ever P&G Family Home in about 60 days.
Taking over the USOC family program from now-departed sponsor Bank of America, the consumer-product giant has turned a conference center on West Hastings Street into a “home away from home” for U.S. athletes and their families, in the process bringing to life nine of its top brands. Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day, the pop-up experience serves as “a quiet oasis away from the chaos of the games for athletes and their families,” said Janet Fletcher, associate marketing director for the P&G Olympic Team, while giving EM a tour in Vancouver.
Guests enter the space into a small lobby boasting a winter wonderland theme. Digital photo frames showing off the many family ties of the U.S. Olympiads hang on the walls, as do plasma screens showing live Olympic action and electronic certificates sporting messages of hope and congratulations to the athletes (and their families). Once checked in, guests are free to roam the three levels, a move Fletcher says was by design: The Olympics are structured enough, she says. P&G is attempting to give athletes and their families a choose-their-own-adventure escape. On the main level is the anchor of the Family Home, a central P&G-branded living room/Internet café/viewing room in which guests can relax (on oversized pillows emblazoned with P&G brand logos), congregate, eat and view live action on an HD projection screen. The area is flanked by private living rooms offering up a bit more privacy for guests looking for quiet time.
One level up is where the individual experiences live across nine branded areas, each targeted to a specific type of guest with specific activities. The Pringles Snack Lounge serves as a videogame hangout for kids, offering Nintendo Wii consoles and Guitar Hero titles. There’s also a 24-flavor (we tried the honey mustard SKU) Pringles bar staffed by a “snacktender.” The room, wrapped in red velvet, also features board games and other activities for the kids. Next door, the Tide Laundry Center offers free laundry service for athletes and families, taking all dirty articles and returning them back, clean and fresh, 24 hours later. Around the corner, babies and toddlers have been flocking to the Pampers Village, a playroom for pint-sized fans showcasing cartoons, baby games, toys and books.
P&G adds photo-activation and data collection to the mix in the Crest/Oral-B Smile with U.S. room, where guests suit up with athletic gear (hockey stick, ski pole, etc.), get in front of the green screen and mock up a variety of Olympic-themed moments. Photos are printed on-site and posted online. There’s also the Secret Renewal Lounge, a private lounge for bloggers brought in to drum up chatter in cyberspace. And then finally, the highest-profile branded area in the Home, the P&G Beauty and Grooming Salon & Spa. A near-professional spa staffed by stylists flown in from Toronto, the area is split into three sections: A Covergirl makeover center; a skin treatment Olay area; and a Pantene haircut and styling center. Ladies (and some of the gents) can make appointments or try for a walk-in.
One floor below check-in is a cafeteria where all food service is housed. The area also features electronic webcam greeting card kiosks and a huge mural on the wall where people can thank their moms (nice touch). Various alcoves and lounges are set up throughout the conference center. And P&G is tweaking on the fly. Example: When a few of the “man cave”-themed areas weren’t attracting the guys, the company changed it up and turned the areas into semi-private family Olympic viewing lounges. Agencies: Sportsmark, San Rafael, CA; GMR Marketing, New Berlin, WI.
As of February 19, more than 3,500 visitors had come through the door at the Home. But hey, enough reading. Check out our video walk-through of the P&G Family Home here.