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Tide is returning to the Super Bowl with a publicity strategy similar to last year's, but without a couple things it would be better off if people forgot right now: Jeffrey Tambor and Pods.
Like last year, the Procter & Gamble Co. brand previewed its Super Bowl entry with a video on Elite Daily (above). This time the star of Saatchi & Saatchi's 2017 Super Bowl ad for the brand, Terry Bradshaw, appears alongside this year's celebrity endorser, David Harbour, who played Jim Hopper in Netflix's "Stranger Things."
The video does not include Tambor, the "Tansparent" star who also appeared in last year's spot. He was the subject of sexual harassment allegations in November's #MeToo wave. (Tambor denies the allegations.)
Tide Pods, the focus of last year's spot, also go unmentioned. P&G recently enlisted theNew England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski to battle an upsurge in social-media posts around eating the indedible product. That crisis has abated in recent days as YouTube and Facebook got more aggressive in enforcing rules against posts that encourage injurious behavior, but it remains a fresh memory.
If Pods eating may be a brand crisis, it's not clear that it really hurts brand sales. YouGov recently released tracking survey research suggesting that the publicity may have actually improved purchase intent for Pods.
Aside from the Elite Daily video and a teaser, P&G is staying mum for now on how it will tackle the Super Bowl, including how many spots are involved. Bradshaw was never much of an option, considering he's a Fox personality and his network isn't broadcasting the game this year. Should P&G again try to integrate its ad with the on-screen action, the obvious partner would be NBC color commentator Chris Collinsworth, a former Cincinnati Bengal and prolific pitchman in P&G's hometown.