Best of 2021: Ice-T and 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin help Tide promote cold-water washing

The P&G brand is making green pitch a key part of its 10-year marketing plan

Published On
Mar 30, 2021

Editor's Pick

Through New Year's, we will be counting down our picks for 2021's 30 best ads and creative marketing ideas.

At No. 3: Tide made a brave move in 2021 by putting sustainability at the center of its U.S. brand advertising. The ambitious push, created with the multi-agency Woven Collaborative, encourages its customers to wash in cold water, with the help of stars including "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Ice T, Vanilla Ice and Annie Murphy. 

Tide is launching an ambitious environmentally driven campaign to get people to wash clothes in cold water, enlisting rapper Ice-T and retired pro wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin behind an unusual big-budget ad effort to change habits rather than hawk specific products.

The Procter & Gamble Co. brand joins countless others in green marketing efforts as Earth Day approaches April 22. But Tide is taking the unusual step of making an environmental pitch a centerpiece of U.S. brand advertising, not just this year but for the rest of the decade. Leading the creative is Saatchi & Saatchi, part of the multi-agency Woven Collaborative that handles P&G North American laundry.

See the full list of 2021's Best Ads.

Key messages of the #TurntoCold campaign are that all Tide detergents clean better in cold water than the leading unnamed bargain brand in hot water, and that people can save on average $100 a year by switching to cold. It backs the Ambition 2030 program P&G launched earlier this month to have 75% of U.S. laundry loads washed in cold water by 2030, up from the current 40% to 45%. By far the most negative environmental impact in the entire chain from manufacturing through home use of laundry detergents comes from heating water, according to P&G research.

If U.S. consumers hit P&G’s cold-water target, it would be the equivalent of removing a million cars from the road and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a cumulative 27 metric tons over a decade, says Aga Orlik, senior VP of North American Laundry Care.

“It’s our hope that a campaign like #TurnToCold paints a clear picture in the mind of our consumers that Tide is not just a superior product, but also better for people and planet,” she says. “If consumers see a load of laundry done with Tide as a load of good, then that’s a win for us.”

As part of the effort, Tide also has toyed with the sacrosanct—its iconic logo. The brand has resisted all suggestions to play around with the orange bullseye over the past 75 years, Molski says, but has made an exception with the blue logo, adding a snowflake and a cold-water dial setting for #TurnToCold.

P&G originally launched a Tide Coldwater product line in 2005, but since then has been incorporating technology to create enzymes and other ingredients that perform well in cold water across all products. “Now we’re comfortable saying you’re going to get this superior Tide clean no matter what,” says spokesman Henry Molski.

To get the point across, Saatchi enlisted stars whose names could be linked to cold puns, led by Ice-T and Austin, to lead a supporting cast that also includes Vanilla Ice, Mr. T (Lawrence Tureaud) and Annie Murphy of “Schitt’s Creek” fame. Ice-T and Austin star as “Cold Callers,” teaming up to randomly call people to convince them of the benefits of cold-water washing with Tide. Murphy, in an ad breaking next month, says “unsubscribe” as soon as the gets her “cold call.” But she changes her mind when she hears about the $100 savings, saying she’ll “do it for the environment.”

For a Canadian ad, the Cold Callers call former National Hockey League star Mark Messier, who notes that he gets their point, because Canadians already do more cold-water loads. National habits vary widely, Molski notes. Germany, while very environmentally conscious, still tends to wash clothes in very hot water. In much of Europe, the default setting on washers is also for higher temperatures, but people tend to opt for the coldest settings, he says.

To change Americans’ habits, “our idea was to make it fun and entertaining,” says Saatchi Executive Creative Director Paul Bichler. “A lot of people refer to themselves with cold names, and it just came together to talk to people using cold calls.”

Ideally, the cold calling idea makes it into pop culture, says Saatchi Chief Creative Officer Daniel Lobaton. “We didn’t want it to feel preachy,” he says. “Going the entertainment route unlocked that for us, because we had these celebrities in the shoes of everyone else receiving this message, asking the same questions anyone might have."


Mar 30, 2021
Client :
Agency :
Saatchi & Saatchi-New York
Chief Executive Officer :
Andrea Diquez
Chief Operation Officer Woven :
Sarah Beaumont
Chief Creative Officer :
Daniel Lobaton
Chief Creative Officer Woven :
Paul Bichler
Creative Director :
Hunter Simms
Creative Director :
Thompson Harrell
Art Director :
Preethi Balakrishnan
Copywriter :
Kelsey Boylan
Producer :
Danielle Hallack
SVP Group Account Director :
Caitlin Reynolds
Account Supervisor :
Jennifer McGill
Account Supervisor :
Guillermo Betancourt
Account Executive :
TJ Daigler
Assistant Account Executive :
Sosun Wahab
Planning Director :
Nayantara Mukherji
Associate Strategist :
Luna Perez
Director Digital Experience :
Alan Lin
Senior Business Affairs Manager :
Lisa Rimmer
Senior Vice President North America Fabric Care :
Aga Orlik
Brand Vice Presiden, North America Laundry :
Amy Krehbiel
Senior Brand Director Tide :
Jennifer Maxwell
Brand Director Tide :
Alex Perez
Senior Brand Manager Tide :
Molly McGuire
Vice President BBIC :
Kimberly Doebereiner
Director Advertising Production :
Paul Chick
Communications Director :
Rotha Penn Brauntz
Communications Manager :
Henry Molski
Media Director :
Tracy Suer
Associate Director of Media :
Patrick McGuinness
Associate Director of Media :
Justin Bracco
Shopper Agency :
Saatchi & Saatchi X
VP Creative Director :
Casey Lissau
Creative Director :
Michael Limbert
Associate Creative Director :
Derrick Ellis
Senior Art Director :
Mo Philopos
Art Director :
Eric Rutherford
Associate Account Director :
Sadia Ashraf
Account Executive :
Sophie Huston
Project Leader :
Tonya Hornsby
Senior Copywriter :
Eric Hahn
Producer :
Alli Whitaker
Production Manager :
Jenna Schellhause
PR :
Group Senior Vice President, Consumer Practice & Agency Marketin :
Laura Brinker
Group Senior Vice President, Strategy & Innovation :
Diana Sfera
Group Senior Vice President, Director, Talent and Partnerships :
Marissa Festante
Senior Vice President, Brand Business :
Samantha Halpern
Vice President, Brand Managemen :
Melissa Chua
Senior Account Supervisor, Brand Management :
Noomi Grootens
Account Executive, Brand Management :
Lauren Lacroix
Account Executive, Brand Management :
Jessica Cooper
Vice President, Earned Media :
Patricia Jones
Account Supervisor, Earned Media :
Nicole Tarko
Account Supervisor, Influencer Marketing :
Clare Redway
Account Supervisor, Influencer Marketing :
Lauren Kaplan
Account Supervisor, Project Management :
Alyssa Bowie
Managing Director, Purpose :
Jessica Mendelowitz
Vice President, CPG :
Chloe Kivestu
Celebrity Talent Acquisition :
The Marketing Arm
Celebrity Talent Acquisition :
Platinum Rye Entertainment
Celebrity Talent Acquisition :
Lori Golden
Celebrity Talent Acquisition :
Brad Griffiths
Celebrity Talent Acquisition :
Amanda Levine
Celebrity Talent Acquisition :
Basia Wojcik
Celebrity Talent Acquisition :
Will Ober
Celebrity Talent Acquisition :
Alex Hanono
Celebrity Talent Acquisition :
Hallie Herrmann
Production :
Biscuit Filmworks
Director :
Aaron Stoller
Partner / Managing Director :
Shawn Lacy
Executive Producer :
Holly Vega
Head of Production :
Sean Moody
Producer :
Mala Vasan
Director of Photography :
Jo Willems
Production Designer :
Alexis Ross
Edit/VFX/Graphics :
Editor :
Jeff Ferruzzo
Executive Producer :
Sila Soyer
Senior Post Producer :
Andrew Cravotta
Assistant Editor :
Max Hoffman
Social Content Editor :
Steven Reglis
Flame/VFX Artist :
Tristian Wake
Flame Assistant :
Mark Popham
Mix :
Creative Dir Commercial Audio/Mixer/Sound Designer :
Steve Perski
Audio Assist :
Brian Battersby
Senior Audio Producer :
Lauren Boyle
Audio Coordinator :
Cameron McGarry
Head of Commercial Color :
Tim Masick
Senior Producer Short Form :
Kevin Breheny
Music & Music Publisher :
Music Creative Director :
Alexis Estiz
Composer :
Alexis Estiz
Composer :
Dario Calequi
Composer VO :
Lonnie Jordan
Producer :
Erika Freijo - Lupita Alvarez

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