“We did a deep dive on the social behavior of Marvel fans,” Lobaton said. “There was a lot of speculation, now that the multiverse is open [via Disney+ series “Wandavision” and “Loki,”], as to who will pop up through those portals and what next character will make a cameo.” That made Harbour’s social tease and laundry room to laundry room Pods portal a fit.
Saatchi even reached into the Avengers archive to find a reference by Wong to his love of tuna melts to create the stain that’s central to the ad plot. “There were a lot of little Easter eggs that we were hunting, having a lot of fun as we were writing this,” Lobaton said, noting that Dr. Strange’s gloves also turn up in the laundry room.
“Someone will screenshot that, trust us,” he said, noting that appeal to a rabid fan base will be part of the ad’s appeal.
“The director, Anthony Leonardi, who’s very close to Marvel Studios, brought a lot of knowledge,” Lobaton said.
The spot was produced in partnership between Saatchi & Saatchi, Marvel Studios and Bullitt, a creative studio whose founders include the Russo Brothers, directors of several Marvel films. P&G also enlisted Oscar-winning visual effects company Framestore.
Marvel has “one of the biggest and most engaged fan bases in the country,” said Alex Perez, senior brand director for Tide, so putting as many “nuggets” as possible for fans to search for in the ads was a recipe for engagement. Elements of the campaign will play out in social media through June.
“The fan base is excited,” Perez said, “and we intend to leverage this partnership as much as we can.”