Adjacent Storytelling from P&G for the 2012 Olympics

Are you familiar with the concept of “adjacent storytelling”? Gavin Heaton is spot on with his definition:

Adjacent storytelling is not about naming your brand. The adjacent story is there – the one that you see out of the corner of your eye. It’s the story that stays with you long after you have forgotten the wording. It’s the feeling that reminds you that your experience is not singular and that we are connected more by our commonalities than by our differences.

P&G’s recent ad “Best Job” for Procter & Gamble (Canada) is a great example of adjacent storytelling. Created by Wieden and Kennedy, it honours Mums for the 2012 Olympics…

P&G / Best Job from Karl Lieberman on Vimeo.

The description of the YouTube Viral video (over 400k views in 12 days) is simple and to the point:

Being a mom is the hardest job in the world. But it’s also the best.

This Procter & Gamble commercial honors everything that all moms do to help their children succeed by showcasing the amazing moms behind Olympic athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The hardest job in the world is truly the best job in the world.

Join P&G in saying “Thank you, Mom” by sending your Mom a message of thanks at:

The P&G story-styled ad embodies all the characteristics that I believe make for a winning formula, namely,

  • It’s a very well told adjacent story.
  • It honors the P&G consumer (primarily mums).
  • It matches P&G’s brand values and builds upon its heritage.
  • It contains a viral trigger: Emotion. 742,988 shares in the past seven days.
  • It is timely (Olympics) adding to its “virality”.
  • It does not oversell but yet you’re left remembering the brand.
  • It allows the brand to host and carry on the conversation (

Well done to the team at W&D (Portland) behind the ad. Hats off to you.




Add a Comment