It's a Procter & Gamble Super Bowl ad: Tide returns along with a crowd-shaped corporate spot
Procter & Gamble Co. will have three ads in the Super Bowl, including Tide's return to the game and a 60-second spot that will feature several brands and will be influenced by viewers.
Tide will return with a single ad by agency Woven, New York, though it declined to provide details on the creative.
The biggest surprise is the multi-brand effort, which will feature Bounty, Charmin, Old Spice, Febreze, Mr. Clean, Olay and Head & Shoulders. The ad will run in the fourth quarter and will be developed by viewers through an interactive video that launches next week.
The technology for the video was developed by Israeli startup Eko, which is backed by a $250 million investment from joint-venture partner Walmart. Eko’s videos work similar to the “choose your own adventure” premise of Netflix’s "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch." People follow story lines of their own choosing through dozens or sometimes hundreds of permutations.
Eko has previously done everything from an interactive toy catalog for Walmart last fall to a variety of interactive videos for brands that include Ikea, Red Bull, L’Oreal, Nike, Lincoln and others. For a Coke video from Latin America, viewers can toggle between the points of view of mother or daughter, for example. Eko created an interactive video that ran online post-game in 2016 riffing off a Coke Super Bowl ad featuring Marvel characters, but hasn’t been involved in creating an in-game ad before.
Eko CEO Yoni Bloch presented alongside Stefanie Jay, vice president and general manager of Walmart Media Group at P&G’s Signal digital conference in July, helping pave the way for the P&G work.
Stars of P&G’s pre-game video include Rob Riggle, Olay pitch-woman Busy Philipps (who will also stay in the Olay Big Game spot), a Charmin bear, Old Spice Guy Isaiah Mustafa, and Head & Shoulders pitch people Troy Polamalu, Sofia Vergara and her son Manolo Gonzalez-Ripoll Vergara.
Grey Midwest, Cincinnati, is lead agency on the corporate effort, a first Super Bowl ad for that, or any Cincinnati-based shop.
“It’s a first of its kind, experiential and interactive ad,” says P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard. “People will essentially create what will run in the fourth quarter” as they direct characters through a story line involving “a messy surprise at a Super Bowl party.”
Tide had previously incorporated brand references from P&G’s own Old Spice and Gillette brands and Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Budweiser into its 2018 “It’s a Tide Ad” series of Super Bowl spots. But rules at the time from NBC and the NFL prohibited multi-brand ads, so the references to non-Tide brands couldn’t be explicit.
This time, official NFL sponsor P&G will make explicit references to multiple brands in its 60-second spot, and Pritchard says, “The NFL and Fox are fully on board.”
The Super Bowl effort is part of P&G’s overall “constructive disruption to reinvent brand building,” Pritchard says, and also involves considerable marketing around the Super Bowl that doesn’t include buys in the game.
“The Super Bowl is advertising’s biggest night,” he says. “So we’re focusing on our range of creative adverting and media approaches.”
Secret will also air a 60-second spot produced in-house just before the game, Pritchard says. It will be introduced Monday on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" along with a substantial digital campaign, and riff off the brand’s extensive work with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.
Head & Shoulders also plans Super Bowl-related work continuing the theme of its offense-defense ads from Saatchi & Saatchi featuring Polamalu and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Pritchard says.
Join Ad Age on Jan. 28 as we bring together some of the top brands, agencies and creatives, including Hyundai, BBDO, Sabra hummus, Madonna Badger, Pop-Tarts and WeatherTech, to discuss what it takes to pull off a Super Bowl commercial.