P&G Viral Effort Gets Wild and Crazy

by

The
erstwhile staid Procter & Gamble is making an online splash with a
viral campaign worthy of a Saturday Night Live skit – and based on the
premise that men have throughout the ages also suffered from menstrual
cramps.

The nation’s largest marketer has launched a $1 million effort that
includes two websites, a fake documentary and video clips, all of them
supposedly the work of an imaginary institute that’s studying “cyclical nonuterine dysmenorrhea” – that is, men with cramps, writes the New York Times. The “Men With Cramps” campaign is actually for P&G’s ThermaCare products, which are in fact intended to treat women with menstrual pain.

The viral campaign began in late September and new elements were
introduced in phases, beginning with small classified ads in newspapers
(“Men: Are You Suffering From Menstrual Cramps?”), directing readers to
menwithcramps.com, created by Kirt Gunn & Associates in New York.

The mockumentary of how male cramps have altered history came next,
followed by video clips of the research ostensibly being carried out
(similar to a similar viral effort last year by the Captains of Industry), placed on iFilm, Google Video and YouTube.

Despite the potential and perceived risks to brands, traditional
marketers are finally willing to take a chance with new
media. Execs and P&G and its agency, Publicis Worldwide in New
York, said the risks were worth it to engage consumers. More than 11
million consumers have interacted with the campaign in some form or
another, according to P&G.

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