Creative Report Card: Leo Burnett Always brings it

The agency's "Like a Girl" campaign landed the shop and client P&G in the #2 spots on the agency and brand lists, respectively.

This story appears in the February/March issue of strategy.

P&G, as a master brand, ranked #2 as a result of awards won for several sub-brands, including Always (which ranked #3 on the overall brand list, which can be found here), Mr. Clean and Bounce. 


It all started with a SWOT analysis. Leo Burnett CCO and CEO Judy John (#2 CD) was called in to look at the U.S. branch’s work for P&G’s Always brand and bring a fresh perspective. It took close to eight months for a team of nearly 30 across the shop’s Toronto, Chicago and London offices to build out the “#LikeAGirl” campaign. The viral video that features children demonstrating what it means to “run like a girl” is now used as an educational tool in some U.S. schools. Oh, and it’s also won seven Grand Prix awards from shows all over the world.

It’s no easy feat working with three teams from three separate offices. What was the most difficult challenge?

John: Creating that feeling of one team. In an office, you have this one team feel, everyone works together, it’s a very seamless approach and you know each other’s strengths. [Creating one vision] across the network is probably the most important thing.

So how did you do it?

John: One of the things that we did on Always was arrange a standing call every day. It’s that [constant] dialogue that helps get you on the same page.

The campaign has received a lot of positive attention – but it’s not without its critics. How do you defend the campaign when skeptics liken the work to that of Dove’s “Real Beauty” movement?

John: I think any brand supporting female empowerment is held up to Dove. And because Dove started it, being compared to them isn’t really a bad thing. They’ve done some great work, and for a great cause. The industry might feel [skeptical], but when you talk to the average girl or woman out there, they don’t care. It’s meaningful to them, and that’s all that matters.

View the full interactive Creative Report Card here.