Partnerships fuel P&G's 'Future Friendly' campaign

CINCINNATI: Procter & Gamble (P&G) is working to educate consumers on how to use its existing products, such as Tide and Cascade, in sustainable ways.

CINCINNATI: Procter & Gamble (P&G) is working to educate consumers on how to use its existing products, such as Tide and Cascade, in sustainable ways.

The new “Future Friendly” campaign is focused around several strategic partnerships, including one with National Geographic.

First introduced at the Clinton Global Initiative last fall, P&G launched "Future Friendly" March 29 with a multimillion-dollar campaign that includes TV advertising, new packaging, and social media.

The PR element is being driven by an “educational platform with a number of partners,” said Glenn Williams, external relations manager for US market strategy and scale at P&G. The company also launched a Facebook page for the campaign.

“We are not going out on a green campaign as much as we are going out on a conservation and education campaign,” said Williams. “We feel that is an important differentiation.”

P&G is partnering with National Geographic, which will provide tips on saving energy, water, and waste in the home for the Web site.

“National Geographic is not endorsing a product, but what they are doing is supporting the principles behind the campaign,” said Williams. “People know and trust them, so the content they are developing for us will help support the overall philosophy of Future Friendly.” 

The consumer packaged goods company also partnered with Earth Day Network, the main organizers of the global Earth Day celebrations.

As part of that partnership, "Future Friendly" is scheduled to be a presenting sponsor of The Climate Rally in Washington on April 25 and will sponsor the Facebook page and iPhone application for Earth Day Network's Billion Acts of Green movement.

PainePR, the lead external relations agency on the program, helped facilitate the partnerships. It is also working with BBDO, P&G's ad agency, on social media and the "Future Friendly" site.

"Future Friendly" is targeted at the 70% of consumers who P&G has identified as being neither apathetic to the environment nor hardcore green.  

“We call that middle group the sustainable mainstream,” Williams said. “These are people who look at a product, and make a decision based on price and performance. After that, they say, ‘Does it offer sustainable benefits?' But they're not as willing to switch brands, pay more or make other trade offs.”

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