When Terry Bradshaw showed up with a shirt stain on what appeared to be live TV from the Fox broadcast booth at the Super Bowl, it marked the first time an advertiser had tried an integration so complex on so large a stage. His spill was, in fact, an elaborate pretaped stunt that teed up a commercial to be followed up late in the game with another commercial. Making the opening bit appear seamless was a long, highly complicated and often tense process for Procter & Gamble, its agency Saatchi & Saatchi and the directors at Traktor.
"Tide's been in the Super Bowl a few times with some pretty great success, and so, if we're going to be in the game, we're going to do something pretty epic," Paul Bichler, executive creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi, told Ad Age at the time. "The stakes were really high and we were dreaming up ideas that were never done before."
One key task was for Tide to top itself. Its prior Tide Super Bowl ads were viewer favorites and award winners: The hilarious "Talking Stain" from 2008 featured a yammering blotch ruining a job interview, and the 2013 "Miracle Stain" summoned acolytes to worship a blemish that looked eerily like Joe Montana. Brand managers also wanted to bring an element of newness and surprise to a product that was 70 years old and already in almost half of the laundry rooms in the U.S. And failure would be costly, because the effort supported the introduction of Tide with Downy Pods, the brand's biggest launch of the year.
Go behind the scenes of the shoot with Ad Age and our "Anatomy of an Ad" video series about "Bradshaw Stain" and its kicker later in the game, "Restain."
Tide confronted Persil ProClean's "10 Dimensions" in Super Bowl LI.
Production company: Rattling Stick.Send credit info to [email protected].