Exclusive: P&G, Huffington's Thrive Global Team Up to Turn Everyday Products Into Wellness Boosters

Sy Mukherjee
Exclusive: P&G, Huffington's Thrive Global Team Up to Turn Everyday Products Into Wellness Boosters

Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble has teamed up with Thrive Global, the wellness and behavioral health firm led by Arianna Huffington, in a bid to turn some of P&G’s most commonly used products into wellness boosters.

The partnership involves a half dozen P&G brands – including Crest, Oral-B, Pampers, Venus, Secret, and Pantene – and spans both social media marketing campaigns and new internet-connected consumer health devices. The groups are announcing the initiative at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France on Monday.

That includes the Oral-B Sense, an upcoming WiFi-enabled “smart toothbrush” that provides personalized feedback to consumers on their brushing habits. Thrive’s central role across the P&G portfolio will be providing what the company calls behavioral “microsteps” in order to “habit-stack” – i.e, build a positive, affirming mental habit into something consumers may already do every day.

That could include anything from urging people to give themselves a life-affirming message when putting on deodorant in the morning to singing a song to their babies while changing their diapers, Huffington told Fortune in an interview.

Both Huffington and Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at P&G (a company whose products reach some five billion people), emphasized the potential scope of such a joint campaign.

“Human beings gravitate toward ritual… and P&G products have incredible compliance,” said Huffington. She added that the only way to end widespread burnout among workers – a cause she has long championed, and a reality the World Health Organization declared a workplace crisis just last month – is to build healthier habits, especially when it comes to mental health.

“The habits for the kinds of products that we provide, consumer package goods, is quite high,” said Pritchard. “So it really occurred to us, based on the work that Arianna has done, as well as with our scientists, that the combination of the microsteps for positive physical and emotional wellbeing that Thrive offers, with the habits that our everyday brands provide, could really enhance the consumer experience.

“And so we started working with Arianna and her team to be able to come up with different ways in which we could do that, because we knew that we can align our high quality, superior performing products and they could be even better for the consumers when they stack these positive habits on top.”

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