Best of the Decade: Tide Is Everywhere in Campaign to Own All Super Bowl Ads

Ads with 'Stranger Things' star David Harbour made it the most-tweeted brand of the game

Published On
Jun 22, 2018

Editor's Pick

Creativity looks back on the brand ideas and campaigns that made the last decade. See the full lineup here

Best of the Decade

While companies like Oreo and Skittles have proved that winning the Super Bowl no longer requires a national media buy, Tide reigned in the last decade by going all out with its Big Game presence in sophisticated integrated marketing stunts from Saatchi & Saatchi.  Those included 2017’s “Bradshaw Stain,” involving what appeared to be a real-life spill on sportscaster Terry Bradshaw’s shirt. Surprises continued in 2018 in the delightful multi-prong effort in which other brands’ commercials turned out to be Tide spots, leading the audience to wonder if any ad they were watching was ultimately going to be one for the P&G detergent brand. The agency and directing collective Traktor created four commercials, each of which posed as a pitch for something else (with the help of “Stranger Things” actor David Harbour, Old Spice front man Isaiah Mustafa, Mr. Clean and even a Clydesdale)—so from the first spot on, P&G had viewers wondering which of the big game spots would ultimately turn out to be a Tide ad. The campaign went on to earn the Film Grand Prix and Titanium at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity as well as the Grand Effie award

Original Story

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 New York 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. The spot was directed by Traktor via Rattling Stick.

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.

The campaign went on to win the Film Grand Prix as well as Titanium at Cannes, with Film Jury President and Almap/BBDO Chief Creative Officer Luiz Sanches noting how the campaign turned "It's another Tide ad" into an instant cultural touchstone. 


Jun 22, 2018
Client :
Client :
Agency :
Saatchi & Saatchi-New York
Vice President, North America Fabric Care :
Sundar Raman
Brand Director, North America Fabric Care Delivery :
Vedran Miletic
Kimberly Doebereiner
Manager of Advertising Production :
Paul Chick
Brand Manager :
Jennifer Maxwell
Assistant Brand Manager :
Alex Perez
Brand Communications Manager :
Matthew Wormington
Chief Executive Officer :
Andrea Diquez
Chief Creative Officer :
Javier Campopiano
Executive Creative Director :
Paul Bichler
Creative Director :
Daniel Lobaton
Creative Director :
Chad Baker
Associate Creative Director :
Max McKeon
Art Director :
Erin Evon
Art Director :
Jacopo Biorcio
Associate Creative Director :
Rafael Segri
Senior Art Director :
Maddy Kramer
Copywriter :
Blake Morris
Director, Integrated Production :
Jenny Read
Executive Producer :
Dani Stoller
Business Affairs Director :
Robin Oksenhendler
Senior Business Affairs Manager :
Lisa Rimmer
Director, Strategy :
Nayantara Mukherji
Digital Director :
Alan Lin
Strategist :
Corina Arnal
Senior Vice President, Regional Account Director :
Nick Miaritis
Vice President, Account Director :
Ryan Martin
Senior Account Supervisor :
Jennifer Brotman
Account Supervisor :
Guillermo Betancourt
Ecommerce Account Manager :
Jed Karnowski
Account Executive :
Jennifer McGill
Assistant Account Executive :
Courteney Case
Production Company :
Ratting Stick Traktor Inc.
Director :
Partner :
Joe Biggins
Executive Producer :
Joe Biggins
Executive Producer :
Jeff Shupe
Executive Producer/Traktor :
Richard Ulfvengren
Head of Production :
Richard McIntosh
Director, Photography :
Hoyte van Hoytema
Production Designer :
Tom Hartman
Line Producer :
Rachel Curl
Editorial Company :
Arcade Edit
Editor :
Jeff Ferruzzo
Assistant Editor :
Jeff Lopus
Executive Producer :
Sila Soyer
Producer :
Andrew Cravotta
Visual Effects :
The Mill
Creative Director :
Becky Porter
Visual Effects Supervisor :
James Allen
Executive Producer :
Anastasia Von Rahl
Producer :
Marcus Speaker
Music :
Personel Music
Composer :
Alexis Estiz
Producer :
Courtney Jenkins
Mixer :
Philip Loeb
Color :
Tom Poole
Media :
Hearts & Science
Executive Business Director :
Daniel Bueckman
Director, Senior Category :
Scott Minor
Director, Video Investment :
Shari Wyler
Associate Director, Biddable Social :
Mariko Hunt
Associate Director, Biddable Search :
Cate French
Supervisor, Search :
Kevin Bonnesen
Strategy Supervisor :
Claire Richards
Strategy :
Steven Signore
Strategist, Biddable :
Rebekah Hsiung
Managing Director, Optimum Sports :
Jeremy Carey
Senior Director, Optimum Sports :
Matt Greenberg
Account Director, Optimum Sports :
Kristen Grey
Associate Director, Optimum Sports :
Sam Levy
Associate Director, Optimum Sports :
Neil Messing
Supervisor, Optimum Sports :
Jack Knobloch
Celebrity Talent Acquisition :
Platinum Rye Entertainment
Senior Director, Talent :
Lori Heckman Golden
Director, Sports Marketing :
Brad Griffiths
Manager, Talent :
Megan Ryan
Managing Partner :
John Liporace
PR :
Vice President :
Travis Rexroad
Vice President :
Brianna Kauffman
Account Supervisor :
Alex Stathis
Senior Account Executive :
Kayla Kaplan
Assistant Account Executive :
Halley Barnes
Creative Director :
Brianna Bishop
Senior Copywriter :
Chris Shreve
Social Media Manager :
Mike Macias
PR :
Chief Strategy Officer :
Joydeep Dey
Group Senior Vice President :
Lindsay Kamin
Senior Vice President :
Dustin Sveum
Senior Vice President :
Samantha Halpern
Senior Vice President :
Marissa Festante
Vice President :
Alex Taylor
Sports Marketing :
Senior Vice President :
Sam Riber
Senior Creative Director :
Jordan Futscher
Account Associate :
Rob Sipniewski
Associate Creative Director :
Kiko Mattoso
Producer :
Danielle Hallack

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