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2008 Creativity Award Winner: Tide 2X Ultra: Stains Don't Stand A Chance

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Tide sees messes on the fibers of your garments as invaders to be repulsed. That's the point of the "Stains Don't Stand A Chance" print campaign, which depict a spill as a tiny contingent being overpowered by opposing forces digitally manipulated into the thousands—a veritable soiled Alamo. "Ketchup" sees football players squashing foes, "Mayo" dark knights marching on a plumed warriors and "Soy Sauce" khaki-clad, CHiPs-looking cops surrounding bank robbers. The super-detailed series, illustrated by Brit digital artist Simon Danaher, cleaned up at Cannes last year, claiming a Gold Lion in the Outdoor category and the Grand Prix in Press.

Q&A with Saatchi & Saatchi, New York CD Audrey Huffenreuter

What brief did you get from the client?

Huffenreuter: The brief came in from the client to promote Tide 2X Ultra; it's Tide concentrated. So you use less, but it is more powerful. Since the bottle is smaller on the shelves, consumers could have the misperception that they are getting less for their money when in actuality it cleans better and is a more efficient stain remover.

What are the challenges of doing work for this category? What kind of risks were you taking, if any?

Huffenreuter: Mark Voehringer, the art director and Jake Benjamin, the copywriter did an amazing job of bringing Tide 2X Ultra's uber stain fighting power to life in a way that is not typical in the laundry category. From afar you may think you are looking at fabric with a stain, but looking closer you see it's over a thousand little people attacking the other little people that represent the stain. The action is a demo for what the product does, and they did it without having to show real clothing, without a competitive side-by-side! Targeting women doesn't always have to show women, or be soft and heartfelt.

What did the client bring to the creative process during this job?

Huffenreuter: It's always a worry whether or not your client will buy something that would be normally out of their comfort zone, but Tide loved the ads immediately and was supportive throughout the whole process.

What does brand creativity need to do now in order to be effective?

Huffenreuter: It's no mystery that we are getting more and more desensitized by the massive amounts of media around us. There are more and more places to promote brands, but doing what worked before doesn't mean it is going to work again. It's obvious that in order for brand creative to be effective it needs to be fresh, stand out and make us feel something. Whether it's funny, smart or heartwarming, it needs to be able to penetrate our media-pummeled minds. And that's not easy.
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