2012 Summer Olympic Games, P&G Thank You, Mom: Best Job/Hardest Job Ad

My fascination with the Olympic Games began a long time ago.  Back when the dreams of being an Olympic athlete were beginning to rumble through my small head.  It was 1976.  Montreal, Canada. I was a mere three years old when my parents ran the last kilometer with the Olympic flame, escorting it just before it lit the actual torch that burned the duration of the Summer Olympic games.  They applied for this honor.  In addition to each person who carried the torch, six people were chosen to surround the flame during each portion of its journey.  But at the end, during the final leg, a few dozen – each bearing candles having been lit by the torch, joined the run.  My parents were two of those people.

No, I don’t remember everything.  I can remember the shirts you see us wearing in the picture.  I can remember how beautiful my mother looked in her ponytail and rainbow-colored headband.  I remember how proud my parents were at the time (and still are to this day).  In fact, I know they still have the candles they carried on that run.

Family legend says my swim coach approached my parents when I was six about training me for the Olympic games… my parents apparently told him he would have to explain the commitment to me – the practices, the hours required and then ask me if I wanted to do it. Shockingly, my six year old self wasn’t willing to commit to four hours of practice a day. There went my Olympic dream.

So, instead, I live vicariously… first through other athletes – watching Mary Lou Retton at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games with my mom…. and then in 2010, watching WITH the moms (and as a mom myself) in Vancouver at the P&G Family Home as they held their collective breathes…. waiting as their children competed… ice skating, skiing, hockey, speed skating…  The many hours of practice, the successes, the ‘almosts’….. all whirling through their minds.

Scotty and Shannon Bahrke (Shannon won the Bronze Medal in 2010 for Moguls Skiing)

And with every heart beat then… and every heart beat now, P&G salutes these moms with a simple:

Thank You, Mom.

I was never able to watch P&G’s 2010 Olympic Thank You, Mom ad without crying.  And this new one?  Same Beautiful Result.

Because being a mom really is The Best Job AND the Hardest Job.

You cried, right?  Felt that lump right there in your throat?

And now?  Hop on over to the  “Thank You Mom” Facebook page.  For every ‘like’, P&G will donate $1 to the USOC P&G|Team USA Youth Sports fund, up to $100,000.

How can you NOT like that?

Oh…. and if you are wondering about Dads (because my small people would like you to know their Dad plays just as crucial a ‘thank you’ role as mom does) P&G knows this and will be honoring Dads around Father’s Day.

I would love to know what you think of the commercial.  And?  Have you thanked your mom lately? (Because ‘Thank You, Mom’ doesn’t only apply to athletes….)

Disclosure:  I was not compensated in any way to write about this campaign. I am sharing this with you simply because I loved it more than two years ago at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games and I think this year’s Thank You, Mom initiative is JUST as extraordinary.


  • Marty Coleman

    Fantastic spot, and yes, it made me tear up, just as the one did during the last Olympics.  I would only add one thing. I would love to see a ‘thank you, dad’ campaign sneak in there some day as well.

  • Steve Woodruff

    That is one beautifully done video. Wow. Yes, choking it back a bit here…

  • Danielle Smith

    Steve – it is GORGEOUS, isn’t it?  I remember how the 2010 version made me cry EVERY time as well.  Just so special.

  • Danielle Smith

    Marty…. You know my kids (who have a dad who coaches them in EVERY sport) asked if there was a dad’s version too :)  I did mention above, P&G has something special planned for dads around Father’s Day – I can’t wait to see it :)

  • Jeff Smith

    This Post is very well written.  This Video is Olympic Quality.  Gold Medal to P&G and extraordinarymommy.com. 

  • http://www.minivansarehot.com/ Kelli

    If that doesn’t make you cry, then you’re a robot. *sniff*

  • http://twitter.com/susancarraretto Susan Carraretto

    I cried.

  • http://amandamagee.com amandamagee

    Off to thank her now. xo

  • Kim Prince

    And I clicked on this knowing it would make me weepy, but still, I am surprised.  You kill me.

  • Laughlinl

    It is very touching, but I actually have more respect for your six year old self and your parents for respecting your six year old self.  I have a hard time with pushing kids so hard at such a young age.  At that age, the dream is not the child’s, it is the parent’s. 
    I don’t mean to say that I don’t support our olympic athletes, I do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/careyschumacher Carey Schumacher

    WONDERFUL! My favorite Olympic memories are Mary Lou Retton nailing a double layout in ’84, then Kerri Strug earning the team gold for USA with a ONE-FOOTED-sprained-ankle landing on vault in 1996 in Atlanta.  I watched those with the eyes of a young gymnast.  These days, I watch with the eyes of a mom, and it’s a TOTALLY different experience I never expected.  It’s a good feeling — more nerves, more worry, more pride, and more love.  I’m really looking forward to the summer!!

  • Puzzled

    “and if you are wondering about Dads (because my small people would like you to know their Dad plays just as crucial a ‘thank you’ role as mom does) P&G knows this and will be honoring Dads around Father’s Day.”

    So … P&G can spend 2 weeks glorifying just Moms during the Olympics – and they’ll probably run this same add on Mother’s Day – but it’s OK because they’ll do one ad for Dads on Father’s Day? For all women who feel slighted by gender issues, wouldn’t it seem like you’d be the first ones to see this inequality and say something also?

  • Danielle Smith

    I appreciate your comment, but will say this – I’m not easily offended by things like this – especially not in commercials. As a mother, I see the pure beauty intended in this campaign. This post is actually from the previous Olympic Games (London) and P&G has successfully fun this campaign for three Olympic games now and the response has been overwhelmingly favorable. There is, officially, only one major ‘Thank you, Mom’ ad this year (Sochi2014) as there have been in previous years – so to your point, I do understand P&G running a campaign during the Olympics (once every two years) and running a separate campaign for Father’s Day. Additionally, though I am not privvy to the details this year, I DO know that in Vancouver, P&G gave a stipend to Olympic families to allow them to attend the Games to see their children – and that applied, naturally, to both Moms and Dads.

  • di0nysus

    Great commercial except if you’re a dad. P&G could have hit a home run if they didn’t make a sexist commercial glorifying moms while not even acknowledging dads. It takes parents to have Olympians not just moms. Sorry but as an involved dad this ad kinda pisses me off.