It is not always that a firm’s internal anniversary translates to an award-winning documentary, but it has happened for Procter & Gamble. In 1992, the biggest advertiser in the globe became one of the first 500 companies to include sexual orientation to its statement of Equal Employment Opportunity. The matter boiled down to Michael Chanak, the only gay employee whose courageous narration prompted the firm to assure protection rights for P & G’s LGBT employees.
The documentary won a Cannes Lions Silver award in 2018 because it relays a powerful message on the bias and the ability of determined individuals to bring change into a company. ‘The Words Matter’ film also added a human touch to P & G and ensured credibility which at times lacks in other businesses in terms of the diversity space.
The story concurred with the P&G’s Winter Olympics advertising which happens to be the first ad on American TV to have a Pride flag. Brent Miller, P&G’s associate director of global beauty communications and leader of LGBTQ communications, says that it is necessary to apply brand voices and not always depend on the company voice to pass a message of inclusion.
Miller says that the Pride flag is interesting because it was done with the absence of fanfare. Thus, there is so much that needs to be done regarding the depiction of the community, and P & G aims at demonstrating the diversity that exists in the world.
The ad for Head & Shoulders’ shampoo is about the first out US Olympic athlete, Gus Kenworthy. Miller says that the ad was an extension of the “Shoulders of Greatness” campaign which focusses in the various challenges that athletes have to surpass.
Miller asserts that Companies like P & G have the advantage of a big reach and huge voice and it is their responsibility to proceed with the dialogue on diversity. Additionally, the younger generations will be looking at brands with purpose and also drive loyalty to P & G.
Miller adds that there has been a dramatic shift in the roles of companies because young people tend to believe more in the private sector than the public and this explains why they are purchasing and selecting their brand affinities.
However, Miller acknowledges that the advertising world is yet to attain diversity particularly with ads that feature the LGBT people. He adds that there is more work to be done and being the largest advertiser in the world, they can use their voices to bring the change they need.