Head & Shoulders Launches MLB’s ‘Season of the Whiff’

P&G’s Head & Shoulders shampoo brand has linked up with LA Angels pitcher and campaign ‘mane man’ CJ Wilson to launch its 2013 CSR-led campaign called the ‘Season Of The Whiff’.


Head & Shoulders is putting its money its own, and Wilson’s, mouth is – literally.


Starting from Opening Day, for every ‘whiff’ (slang for a ‘strike out’) pitched during the MLB 2013 regular season, the shampoo brand will make a $1 donation to the MLB Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) programme.



In any one season there are typically around 35,000-plus strike outs.


‘My job is to strike people out, that’s why the Angels brought me in,’ says Wilson. ‘So if any hitters out there want to help the kids, just go ahead and strike out.’


The youth-led MLB programme aims to to give young people from urban and underserved communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourages academic success and achievement, and teaches important life lessons and values.


To promote the programme, Head & Shoulders launching an ad campaign, featuring Wilson and his Angels teammate Josh Hamilton, on Opening Day running across TV, digital, social, brand-integration and outdoor.


The central 15-second spots, from Saatchi & Saatchi New York, began breaking on 1 April 1, while a ‘Whiff of the Game’ segment is being integrated into game broadcasts on regional sports networks in 11 US markets.


These begin with ‘Catch’:



All the spots will run with the tagline: ‘Live Flake Free. And Smell Handsome.’


Baseball fans can get involved by tweeting whiffs/strikeouts throughout the season via the #Whiff hashtag along with their own team’s Twitter handle to rack up the donations for their own franchise’s local RBI leagues.


Those promoting the campaign through the micro blogging site also have the chance to win cool MLB prizes, while the MLB club whose fans rack up the most #Whiff tweets monthly will gain a further $10,000 for local chapters of the RBI programme.


Head & Shoulders also will provide a wrap and interior ad takeover of the No 7 train from Manhattan to Queens’ Citi Field for all of June and July to leverage this year’s All-Star Game which will be played in the New York City stadium.


One of several league partners, team sponsors, media rights owners and baseball equipment brands to roll out their 2013 marketing campaigns across North America, the season-long Head & Shoulders initiative uses ambassador Wilson to launch its new ‘Head & Shoulders with Old Spice’ variant.


‘We’re excited to be working with CJ Wilson this season to encourage guys everywhere to try new Head & Shoulders with Old Spice,’ said Michael Sabbia, North America Brand Manager of Head & Shoulders at Procter & Gamble.


‘As the Official Shampoo of Major League Baseball, we are proud to provide players and fans with the tools needed to ensure healthy scalps and great looking hair for confidence on and off the field.’


Creative for the official shampoo of the MLB, which includes the tagline ‘gives guys 100% flake free hair powered by the handsome scent of Old Spice’, marks the third year of the brand’s partnership with the league.




This 2013 CSR programme follows last year’s Head & Shoulders MLB campaign which, according to Kantar Media, saw it spend $60m in measured media. Much of that went on ads starring Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer.


According to the brand, the insight behind the work is that one of the biggest barriers people have to buying Head & Shoulders is the belief ‘that it’s a medicine and therefore can’t smell very good’.


So launching an Old Spice product variant directly addresses this issue.


Head & Shoulders also hope that by the end of the season, the campaign will see fans and sportscasters no longer calling strikeouts “Ks”, but calling them whiffs and associating that back to Head & Shoulders.




Head & Shoulders TV Commercial YouTube



Head & Shoulders Website



Head & Shoulders Old Spice






MLB RBI Programme



MLB Website




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