The Procter & Gamble-backed laundry-detergent brand has in the past few years relied on complex media maneuvers to help it stand apart from the rest of the Super Bowl advertising pack, like working with Fox to get a stain on announcer Terry Bradshaw’s shirt that subsequently appeared in the company’s Big Game ad in 2017. Now it’s trying something much more simple.
Comic actor Jason Alexander figures prominently in a new 60-second Super Bowl pitch that Tide will run in the second quarter and aims to show viewers the many travails a single hoodie goes through over the course of a day. Suffice it to say Alexander’s facial expressions – captured on the hoodie itself — will help convey how the clothing might feel.
“This time,” says Amy Krehbiel, brand vice president for P&G’s, North America fabric care operations, Tide’s ad idea “worked best in one ad.”
Tide’s decision may have thrown another wrinkle into CBS’ Super Bowl ad-sales process, which has been marked by some prominent brands deciding to sit on the sidelines this year. CBS has been seeking around $5.5 million for a 30-second spot in the Big Game, which it will telecast on February 7, and on Wednesday said it had sold out all its commercial inventory for the event.
In the past two Super Bowls, Tide appeared in multiple commercial breaks, even sharing space with other prominent advertisers. Such an execution required a higher amount of investment. CBS has been seeking around $5.5 million for a 30-second spot in the Big Game, which it will telecast on February 7.
But that strategy wouldn’t help Tide this year, says Krehbiel. The company was eager to utilize a single insight – that much of the gross stuff we get on our clothes each day is nearly invisible – and drive it home to help sell a “Tide Hygienic Clean.”
Executives believe the ad, which shows a range of Alexander’s expressions on a well-used hoodie, will give viewers the laugh they need after a difficult year.
Use of the hoodie in the ad is deliberate, says Krehibel. The company believes more consumers are wearing clothing with large faces and expressions on them , and often wear hoodies multiple times before putting them in the wash. That makes the garment a relatable piece in a story about the particles and odors that clothing may pick up without the wearer immediately noticing.
To boot the commercial, Procter intends to work with various “influencers” who will wear hoodies of their own with full displays of faces, and expects Alexander to also work to call attention to the campaign via his own digital- and social-media channels. She said the actor devised “hundreds” of different expressions for potential use in the commercial, and that only a handful actually made it into the vignette.
There are no current plans to keep Alexander paired with Tide beyond the Super Bowl effort, but Krehbiel says the company remains open to another possible alliance. “We loved working with Jason Alexander and we would be open to it in the future,” she says.