Tide tried to win the 2017 Super Bowl with a pair of ads that seemed to spring out the real broadcast action by enlisting Fox studio commentators. In 2018, the Procter & Gamble brand took things a step further with four ads totaling one minute and thirty seconds that mimicked just about every kind of Super Bowl ad, and made every Super Bowl ad look like a Tide ad in turn. (This one was ranked most effective of any Super Bowl LII spot by the nearly 4,000 marketing pros who took our survey for Ad Age's first Super Bowl Ad Rank with Morning Consult. Check out the second Tide entry here.)
By the third quarter, Tide was being mentioned on Twitter more than any Super Bowl advertiser that wasn't a movie, 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"; P&G's 2017 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 blackout in NBC's feed: "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.Send credit info to [email protected].