Mess Doesn’t Miss for Tide


You’re Gonna Need More Tide


“It’s a mess out there” says the new ad for Tide, after 45 seconds of debris, dust, splashes, splatters, gunge, glop and grime. A tsunami of filth which is met by comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his deadpan response: “You’re gonna need more Tide”.

Tide have had a great few years, ad-wise. Their 2018 Super Bowl takeover, “It’s A Tide Ad”, was a rarity in modern advertising, an ad the public loved as much as the awards juries. It had David Harbour show up across a dozen commercials to declare they were really Tide ads, scoring 5-Stars on our Test Your Ad database and winning Tide a Cannes Lions Grand Prix.

“It’s A Tide Ad” established Tide and agency Saatchi & Saatchi New York as a partnership which could deliver smart, playful work that toys with advertising formats, delights the viewer and still puts across a positive brand message. The latest work is firmly in that tradition. The deluge of mess in its sequence of home video clips distracts you at first from seeing how cleverly the ad uses its star. Like Harbour before him, Nanjiani slots smoothly into every video, even matching the grainy home movie look of some of the clips.

It’s a wonderfully creative use of visual effects and a great way to unify the compilation of clips and get the basic point across: Tide pods now come in a bigger variety. Given this product news, plenty of brands would have chosen a blander creative route to communicate it. Kudos to Tide and Saatchi for turning one of the most mundane product announcements – a new SKU in a new size – into such a riotously inventive ad.

No surprise that the audience responded so warmly to it when we tested the commercial. It scored 4.6-Stars, a clear 2 Star ratings above the average in the Laundry & Detergents category. The ad also scored an exceptional short-term Spike rating, so it’s a strong brand-builder and a sales motivator. (Brand Fluency was slightly weaker, though still in line with the category average).

With this ad, Tide has also breathed new life into a 2010s ad format – the user-generated content compilation. Popular in the early days of YouTube when authentic footage was all the rage, it was overused and became a staple for low-cost ads from smaller or local brands. At its best, though, it’s a very entertaining way to liven up a dull category, and Tide’s clever linkage of its clips makes for an original, effective take on the form. Adland really does need more Tide – or more brands like it, anyway.

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