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Maybe you've been there—in an important meeting or, in this case, a job interview, feeling like the stain on your shirt from lunch is outshining whatever charisma you're trying to eke out. The stain anxiety and related self-consciousness took shape for Tide's Tide-To-Go stain-erasing pen in "Interview," in which a boorish, gibberish-spouting blob of schmutz blabs over an applicant and thoroughly disgusts his potential boss. The spot won a Silver Lion at Cannes and was then chosen by P&G for inclusion in the Super Bowl. The deftness with which "Interview" imparts not just a brand benefit but a life lesson earns it a Creativity Award honor.
Premutico: It was a very specific product brief; they had a product that had a clear point of difference: you could remove a stain on the go. The job of the advertising was to make that message entertaining.
What did some of the early scripts look like, or did the talking stain come on pretty quickly?
Premutico: It was one of those ideas that as a script could have gone a number of ways. Calle [Astrand, the director] did a fantastic job to get the humor right; if the stain didn't have the ambiguity it had at the moment, it would have looked too much like a character and have felt contrived as an idea.
Jacobs: I think Dan [Lucey, AD] and Nathan [Frank, CD] did a fantastic job. They were on it for quite a few weeks but this was a clear winner. The way that Calle shot it, it's this Nordic sensibility—it added an interesting perspective. He just let the camera roll; there were a lot of moments where actors were just sitting there, these long silences. Even though you end up with a :30 spot to have a choice of these long silences, it's nice. He very much brought that to the spot. We pushed really hard for the stain to be cheaply done in a low-tech kind of way. In a world of CGI to do a spot that is naturally, simply done, it stands out. Take the Super Bowl. This was probably the lowest budget there, it was surrounded by these big budget productions, and it turns out to be one of the favorite spots of the viewers. If you have a strong insight, it's reassuring to know you don't need a massive budget or a special effects effort to entertain people now.