Photo Credit: Procter & Gamble
Let me first say I love everything about the Olympics – the build up, the opening ceremonies, those emotional video biographies about the lengths an athlete travels to realize his or her dream, the national anthem as the gold medal is placed around a champion’s neck. So when I came across an ad back in 2010 leading up to the Vancouver Winter Games, celebrating the moms behind the athletes, I watched every frame – and yes, I couldn’t hold back the tears.
The commercial, by Procter & Gamble (P&G), was a sensation, and now the company has topped itself, in my humble opinion, with its latest Olympic video titled, “Best Job.” The ad simulates the every day journeys of four young athletes from four different parts of the world and at every step of the way, there are the moms – getting breakfast ready, taking the kids to school, supporting them at practices. The ad ends with this tagline: “The hardest job in the world is the best job in the world. Thank you, Mom.” Amen to that!
Watch the video for yourself here and try not to have watery eyes before the end!
“We set a challenge for ourselves and said we wanted to accomplish something better than we had done before but we also said we wanted to make sure we could convey thanks to not only Olympian moms but all moms around the world,” said Marc Pritchard, P&G’s Global Marketing and Brand Building Officer, in an interview with iVillage along with his own mom, Carolyn.
“I know how much my mom has done for me throughout my life and how my mom has been there for me every step of the way and still is,” said Pritchard. After hearing that, his darling mom told me, “It’s making me choke up. He really knows how much moms do and how much his wife does for their children and the sacrifices she makes and that moms make, he knows about that. I think he appreciate moms, that’s the important thing.”
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Now here’s where you come in. Here’s your chance to thank your mom and help raise money to support local sports programs in the U.S. along the way. P&G is launching the “Thank You Mom app" that allows people to thank their own moms and upload videos, photos or text. Also, for every like on P&G’s facebook/thankyoumom page, the company will donate $1 to a youth sports fund, up to a total of $100,000. The company has also pledged to raise a total of $5 million to support youth sports programs in many countries around the world.
“We are doing that because when we did an interview with moms around the world, what was interesting is that we said, 'How else can we thank you?,” Pritchard told me. “And they said ‘Well you can help my kid play sports. Sometimes the difference between sports is the difference between my kid playing sports versus the streets.' And so that’s why we created this campaign.”
After I finish this article, I'll be thanking my own mom, who raised three girls pretty much on her own, including this reporter, who dreamed of becoming an Olympic figure skater. That dream meant drives before sunrise -- with my mom -- to the ice rink. I didn’t make it to the Olympics but that unconditional love and support from my mother helped me realize other dreams. I hope I can do the same for my own girls.
Thank you, Mom!
Kelly Wallace, a mom of two, is Chief Correspondent of iVillage. Follow Kelly on Twitter (@kellywallacetv).