Cannes Lions

It's a Tide Ad

SAATCHI & SAATCHI, New York / PROCTER & GAMBLE / 2019

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Super Bowl is the biggest advertising event of the year. Brands invest crazy amounts of money just to get a bit of people’s attention. But how do you stand out from all other ads and their big productions? In Tide’s case, by owning all of them.

Last year, Tide hijacked the Super Bowl. We found something all ads have in common, something that we could point out while staying true to our brand: clean clothes. If the characters in an ad are wearing clean clothes, doesn’t that make it a Tide Ad? So, we turned every ad into a Tide ad, without once showing a single stain—something Tide hasn’t done in its 70-year history.

We built an end to end program that kicked off with a :45 in the first quarter. It featured David Harbour, a rising actor famous for his role in “Stranger Things,” setting up the idea and breaking the 4th wall inviting the audience to keep their eyes open for the next #TideAd. Harbour appeared six more times during the game in stereotypical Super Bowl ads as well as in the live broadcast. We gamified the event and engaged the audience not only during commercial breaks and in-game, but all across the second screen.

By the end of the game, Tide had successfully hijacked the four hours of the Super Bowl with just 100 seconds and made the audience question if every Super Bowl ad was a Tide Ad.

Even a year later, the brand is still reaping the success of the campaign. Sales of Tide Ultra Oxi, the product we featured, increased 35% in the two weeks after the game. In a year, household penetration of just this one Tide product has increased from virtually nothing to 5%, which is almost as big as some of our competitors! In fact, the product has been the biggest driver of household penetration for the overall Tide brand.

“It’s a Tide ad” achieved the ultimate goal for any brand campaign: be part of culture. It has spawned thousands of memes, countless tweets, and perhaps most tellingly, it hasn’t been forgotten. Since the Super Bowl, the conversation around Tide Ad has tripled. During the regular NFL season, #TideAd trended again on Twitter and in Super Bowl LIII, #TideAd was used by the media and consumers, even though Tide did not run a commercial during the game!

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