P&G turns to Old Spice guys Wieden+Kennedy to revive iconic soap brand Ivory

And Ivory certainly is iconic if you’re from Procter & Gamble: it’s one of the company’s most venerable products, dating from 1879, and the reason why P&G’s huge HQ in Cincinnati is sometimes called ‘Ivory Towers.’

For all that, Ivory has taken a beating in recent years, particularly at the hands of Unilever’s Dove whose ‘real beauty’ campaign from Ogilvy & Mather has stormed the market, particularly in the US where it has 35 per cent against Ivory’s measly six per cent.

But now P&G has handed this rather large problem to Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, the agency that worked miracles with sad old Old Spice thanks to its invention of the female-friendly Old Spice Guy portrayed by Isaiah Mustafa.

Last year in the US Unilever spent $210m on Dove with Ivory completely failing to trouble the scorers, according to Adbrands. So W+K can expect a stonking great budget to go with with its hoped-for creative magic.

Which will be more than adequate compensation for missing out on Kraft’s Trident chewing gum earlier today, which chose Saatchi & Saatchi ahead of W+K and TBWA.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.