If you haven’t heard about #DistanceDance yet, you probably will soon. The fundraising campaign, which kicked off just a week ago, is turning heads all over the world due to the incredible social media following of influencer Charli D’Amelio.
But few know that it all started with a string of phone calls on a Friday night -- the first from Gov. Mike DeWine to P&G CEO David Taylor. DeWine rang Taylor to ask how the CPG giant could help spread the word to Ohio citizens about the importance of staying at home to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Taylor then called P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard, who reached out to Debby Reiner, president of global brands at longtime agency partner Grey.
Within 24 hours, the Grey team came up with the #DistanceDance idea and partnered with TikTok to get D’Amelio signed on. All parties donated their time for the campaign, and TikTok also donated the media for the cause.
"Our intent is to be useful by encouraging people to keep their distance and stay home," said Pritchard. "We wanted to find a creative way to engage people and inspire them to take action so they could stay safe and healthy."
Since launching last week, #DistanceDance has garnered more than eight billion views and 1.7 million imitation dances from celebrities, college mascots, all of the major sports leagues, influencers, children, families and more. Most importantly, the effort has triggered many donations, with P&G promising to donate to Feeding America and Matthew25 for the first three million videos. The next phase of the program will kick off later this week on other social platforms to continue getting the message out and help save lives.
"When Marc reached out for help, we needed to solve for two challenges. First, we had to find a platform that could deliver the message in a new way that was right for this audience. And second was time, because every day matters. Partnering with TikTok and Charli helped us solve both," said Kenny Gold, director of social for Grey North America.
D’Amelia, who is the most followed content creator on TikTok, joined the initiative because she said she wanted to find a way to tell as many people as possible to stay home right now.
"It's not easy to stay at home when you're missing your friends, your family, and just normal daily life but right now it's the best option we have to help keep people safe and healthy," she said. "It’s hard to find ways we can help but by doing the dance each one of us, in our own small way, can do some good and have a little fun in the process."