P&G's Cheer brand gets help from 'soap' star

CINCINNATI: Procter & Gamble has launched an online soap opera to promote its Cheer laundry detergent.

CINCINNATI: Procter & Gamble has launched an online soap opera to promote its Cheer laundry detergent.

The online soap opera stars Cameron Mathison of ABC's All My Children and is set in the fictional community of “Brighten Bay.” In addition to watching webisodes, visitors to www.BrightenBay.com can learn about the characters, test their soap opera knowledge and enter the “Sparkle Like a Star” sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip for two to LA and meet Mathison. The Web site is being supported by a Facebook page, Twitter feed, and a YouTube channel.

“The target of this campaign is women who are not emotionally involved in the laundry routine. They don't necessarily hate it or dread it,” said Christina Saunders, P&G's external relations manager, North America laundry. “We want to be that bright spot that breaks up their laundry routine.”

Mathison—who gained new fans following his run on ABC's Dancing with the Stars in 2007—will drive many of the PR efforts, said Saunders. He will be featured on the Facebook page, and will be tweeting. P&G has also arranged media interviews with Mathison, including for soap opera media as well as mainstream press. “We were looking for someone who is known to the audience, and when we looked at our brand attributes, he was a no-brainer,” said Saunders. “He's just very, very likeable.”

This is the first campaign for Cheer since “The Laundress” in 2007. “The Brighten Bay campaign was inspired by something our colleagues had done in Western Europe on a brand called Daz which was also inspired by soap operas,” said Saunders. “It was quite successful, so the team here took the learning from there and made the campaign relevant to Cheer and our core consumer.”

Devries PR is AOR for Cheer, and is supporting the effort. In addition, the Brighten Bay campaign is helped by a TV ad from Leo Burnett in Toronto, as well as in-store promotions.

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