Tide tried to win last year's Super Bowl last year with a series of ads that mimicked game action by enlisting Fox studio commentator Terry Bradshaw. This year the Procter & Gamble brand took things a step further with four ads totaling one minute and thirty seconds that attempted to make every Super Bowl ad look like a Tide ad – and vice versa.
Arguably, the latter approach worked better. As of the third quarter, Tide was tweeted more than any Super Bowl ad that wasn't a movie trailer, according to Amobee.
The series of ads from Saatchi & Saatchi featuring "Stranger Things" star David Harbour also brought in Isaiah Mustafa reprising his role as Old Spice's "The Man Your Man Should Smell Like"; last year's P&G Mr. Clean ad; and a reasonably believable pharmaceutical ad in the fourth quarter, complete with a prepared script for folks who called the toll-free number. Tide even managed to get a Clydesdale into an ad ahead of Budweiser in a comprehensive effort to mock nearly every staple of Super Bowl advertising.
Mustafa, Betty White and Danica Patrick took to Twitter as part of a social-media campaign, the latter asking Harbour if she's actually been in Tide ads all these years. Taylor & Co. led the social-media effort, which went beyond the paid and planned: A war room that also included Omnicom's Hearts & Science and Saatchi came up with one of the best game tweets following a brief second-quarter ad blackout: "Clean clothes are still clean in the dark. If it's clean, it's a #TideAd."
Tide's effort at ubiquity even raised questions about whether the blackout was a planned stunt as part of its Super Bowl campaign. It wasn't, both P&G and NBC confirmed.