NEW YORK: The parody of US advertising tropes displayed in this year’s Tide Super Bowl advertising not only gained critical plaudits and popular acclaim for the Procter & Gamble-owned detergent brand, but also boosted brand metrics and sales, according to the agency executive behind it.

Through Saatchi & Saatchi New York, It’s A Tide Ad was widely deemed to be one of the hits of the 2018 Super Bowl, an event which cost advertisers $5m for every 30-second spot.

Speaking to WARC in an exclusive interview, Saatchi & Saatchi New York’s CSO Wanda Pogue revealed that the brief from P&G was the same as for 2017: do something that’s never been done.

“For Tide, it’s about bringing something to the world that keeps our brand top of mind, making sure it’s on equity and that it has talkability.

“There’s a big challenge around the Super Bowl [in terms of] of who owns it and which brand is being the most talked about. We wanted to be that brand.”

Not least because a brand like Tide needs to remain top of mind, as that is what guides people’s routine sales both in-store and online. “You don’t stroll the aisle; you tend to gravitate either to what’s on sale or to the brand that’s most present in your mind,” Pogue explained.

In developing the insight that would anchor the campaign, Pogue and her team gravitated to the hallmarks of the brand. “One of them is clean and white, the other is the equity in the line, ‘If it’s got to be clean, it’s got to be Tide.’” As work went on, the team began to pick out “those cultural cues in beer ads and car ads that make up the Super Bowl, but that also make up US advertising”.

Featuring Stranger Things star David Harbour, the 45-second hero film zipped about from generic beer ads, to car ads, while a series of 15-second ads for the remaining three quarters of the game kept alive the idea that whenever there are clean clothes it’s a Tide ad.

As the Super Bowl is one of the few times that viewers are actually engaged in the ads, the brand needed to extend its presence, giving more than just the one long ad. “It was a matter of being able to keep it top-of-mind and continue to milk the main spot,” said Pogue.

The result? According to Adweek, Tide and Dodge Ram (which controversially featured Martin Luther King Jr’s speech) were the top two brand stories. As for commercial results, Pogue anticipates a “good bump” in equity, awareness, penetration and sales. “The early results are really encouraging.”

Sourced from WARC, Adweek; additional content by WARC staff