Cannes Lions

Marvel Teaser or Tide Ad?


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For the launch of Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness, we set out to make every Marvel fan on the Internet talk about Tide. To do this, we decided to capitalize on Marvel fans’ obsession with Easter eggs and spoilers. With the latest trailer for the movie fueling fan theories over which characters from across the Marvel Cinematic Universe might appear in the film, we decided to tap into this behavior and fan the flames of fan speculation. So, we recruited David Harbour, the face of Tide's 2018 Super Bowl campaign “It’s a Tide Ad,” who also happened to play the Red Guardian in the Marvel Studios film, “Black Widow.” Our objective wasn’t just to get people talking about Tide, but to ignite the Tide and Marvel fandom for when we ultimately revealed the backstory to David’s post in our larger program that launched a week later.


With Marvel fans on high-alert over the Doctor Strange sequel, we knew all it would take was one post from the right person, with the right words, to ignite a conversation online. So to tease fans, we created a single social post with our “It’s a Tide Ad” spokesperson, David Harbour, who also plays the Red Guardian in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To build intrigue, we chose our words wisely as Harbour talked about a stain he had and how “strange” it was for his Tide PODS to disappear. Utilizing an iconic “Doctor Strange portal,” we had a hand reach through a portal to grab the Tide PODS… making every fan obsess, discuss and share. Was this just a Tide Ad? Was it a Doctor Strange spoiler? Was it an even bigger partnership? We knew fans would want answers, which they got a week later when our :60 film aired.


If every Marvel fan has a theory around the upcoming movie - how could we bake Tide into a fan theory and be part of the conversation? We know they follow their favorite actors on social media. So this was the right place to fan the flame of speculation. We know they obsess over every word they post and scrutinize every video looking for clues. So we leaned into all of the above: The right influencer, known for his role in “It’s a Tide Ad” as well as his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the right timing at the peak of fan speculation a month before the launch of the movie, and a very overt easter egg fans couldn’t miss - a portal from the world of Doctor Strange appearing in the background and stealing the Tide PODS.


We started with a simple post on David Harbour’s Instagram and Twitter channels on Thursday, April 14th. Given he tagged Tide and Marvel Entertainment, both channels reposted and quote-tweeted accordingly. This drove scale and conversations on the same thread, fueling the speculation and encouraging fans to share, and guess… was it a Tide Ad? A Doctor Strange spoiler? Or maybe something even bigger…


Across all channels there were 67.8MM+ total impressions of Harbour’s video, with over 7.2MM total views and almost 900K total engagements. Without any paid support, the video generated 933,483 views on David Harbour’s instagram alone. That’s over 4x more views than his post for the trailer of the final season of Stranger Things, which is one of Netflix’s most viewed shows of all time.

Not only did it drive engagement and speculation from fans, it ignited the media to join in, garnering over 263MM earned media impressions and counting.

After less than two weeks of the :60 being live, paying off who stole Harbour’s PODS, there are already 7.6MM+ views and counting.

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