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Aid Couture for typhoon survivors

MANILA, PHILIPPINES: P&G's Ariel and Downy brands have launched the 'Aid Couture' project that converts inappropriate fashion into life essentials for typhoon survivors...


P&G's mantra 'Touching lives, improving life' had been every P&G TVC end tag. But as ad seconds are expensive, it has been shaved to accommodate brand propositions. Without this constant reminder, how could P&G further build an emotional connection with Filipinos? There was no real budget for this effort.

So Leo Burnett looked at available resources - like its partnership with humanitarian organisations like the Red Cross. About 20 typhoons hit the Philippines yearly, leaving thousands of casualties. And each year, the Red Cross receives 18 tons of donated clothes. A good number are fashionable pieces not suitable for calamity victims. A leather jacket is useless for a calamity survivor when the blazing sun is up again. What he needs is food and medicine...


The Aid Couture project sought to convert inappropriate fashion to life essentials, targeting the upper- and middle-class. They appreciate fashion and willingly support charitable causes.


Aid Couture aimed to convert inappropriate fashion to life essentials. Fashionable clothes were separated from tons of Red Cross clothing donations. These were washed and made fresh again with Downy and Ariel. Top stylists curated these into fashionable collections.

The process was featured in videos on the Aid Couture website. Infographics were created to communicate how these clothes converted into aid. These appeared in posters and on social media. Press kits inspired by first aid kits were sent to the media, which promoted the cause via print, TV and radio features. Celebrities also promoted Aid Couture. Each garment had a price tag with a life essential equivalent.

The clothes were then sold boutique-style at a two-day fashion sale in a popular mall. A real-time sales tracker made every sale and conversion count, and announced it on site, on the website and social media. All media efforts were done pro bono.


Procter & Gamble and its brands Ariel and Downy gained massive mileage from the Aid Couture project. Total media value earned from print, digital, TV and radio broadcast amounted to PHP10m ($222,000) WITHOUT any actual media money spent.

Aid Couture raised almost PHP600,000 ($13,317) worth of life essentials from the repurposed clothes. These converted to 8,610 hot meals, 2,640 bottles of water, 255 medicine kits, 372 wound cleanser kits, 597 blanket and mat sets, 258 mosquito nets, 157 hygiene kits, and 375 food supply packs - all of which were donated to Typhoon Haiyan survivors.


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