Even with the legacy of top tier creative coming from the Superbowl spots each year, no one could be mistaken for not smiling at this one. Not only is it a great send up of ‘event’ spots and their expectations, it is iconoclastic in turning mainstream into meta.
Please let me break things down and show you what I see. One of the top reasons the whole thing works is look and feel: each segment and setup is 100% authentic to its own reality. Each turn of scene from car to beach,etc is perfect in its framing and colouring, its tempo and its generic extras. Each cliche is built perfectly, the vibe is tight and really makes it feel like multiple commercials stacked in perfect order, becoming sharper and breaking consumer pride in all the things ‘regular’ commercials would be selling us anyway.
Lets talk casting. Using David Harbour, Dad bod of the year, beloved as muchas he seems approachable. Also about to be Hellboy and Stranger Things season 1 and 2, he is still amazing. He sets us up to know something is different, and near the end when he interjects the crowd on the beach he is an ambassador for this new idea that everything is for Tide. He ushers us into the idea that everything is a product like the home assistant, the shaving gel, the soda. But Tide is an idea that is everywhere and the other spots can be showcases for Tide.
This genre bending spot not only goes against its detergent heavy Soap Opera afternoon simple “tell and sell” format, hijacking the genres of all the other posts that might air, ending with a thought that all ads are for Tide is simply genius. When conceiving the angle of a spot, the message and story, the reason it exists, they have gone up through the roof and went inception, bigger and broader until advertising as a whole is inverted. This could have been a great skip ad on a youtube feed, but presented in big format at one of the biggest broadcasting platforms of the year, it grabs your attention and tells you something is special, all while being very understated and focused.
Shot over four days for Saatchi & Saatchi New York, it breaks the fourth wall as bluntly as a Deadpool trailer, but Harbour’s smooth low voice and self awareness will change how you see ads. From adweek: “The idea itself was really informed by the brand Tide being such an icon, that so many people use it,” said Paul Bichler, Saatchi & Saatchi’s executive creative director. “So it lends itself to this idea—of the people you surround yourself with, half of them are essentially Tide ads.” It makes me wonder if a drink company could hijack anything with a can in it as the product and accomplish the same thing. It plays on a level of domestication and choice when buying something as simple as laundry detergent and turns it back to a classic water-cooler discussion about content and first person messaging. …and no mention of eating Tide pods, which isn’t a thing and needs to go away.
Jamie Spurway has been a creative professional for 20 years in Toronto and had created hundreds of broadcast projects and worked in multiple post production studios. He enjoys seeing new trends in marketing and creative design, he also collects rare insects that his wife will not look at and makes him keep in his office.