How David Harbour “Tide” The Superbowl

Brook Zimmatore | February 6, 2018

Aside from being completely epic (and gave the Eagles their first Superbowl win in franchise history), the real highlight of the night was David Harbour’s “It’s a Tide Ad” commercials. Funny, brilliant and immediately struck a chord with audiences who have watched the Superbowl since day one––or are just tuning into America’s favorite sports night––It did something more than just make us laugh. It made us want to launder.

Simple and genius

To be honest, the ads simplicity is what makes it genius. By piggybacking on what everyone thinks is a Superbowl commercial and without even showing its product in use, it turned all of our preconceived notions of what we thought we were watching and flipped them all against us. My commentary on how genius it is really stems from the fact this is PR and advertising at it’s finest. For example, there is a number of viral videos and news stories concerning the consumption of less than intelligent individuals ingesting “Tide Pods”, rather than fall into the trap of trying to stave off any news stories and allegations against Tide, they come in full swing with a couple of things:

  • A culturally popular celebrity (more on this below)
  • A simple takeaway (Its a “Tide Ad”)
  • They somehow managed to make us think that every ad might be a “Tide Ad”

Of course, Tide is owned by Procter and Gamble and I’m sure they probably forked over about 15 million for those ads.  But the real point here is they spent money on promotion that works, that is going to get them talked about, going to get them trending news stories. Most importantly––it’s going to BRING THEM REVENUE.  They, in reality, used the concept of what everyone thinks is going to happen in a Superbowl commercial and pointed out to us that everything is actually a Tide ad.  They have a hilarious and fantastic way of handling bad press  like it never happened.

How can your company be “Tide” in?

Your company (big or small) needs to leverage media campaigns and valuable assets in such a way as to deter any negative feedback coming your way.  If you do get some, you need to be able to treat it like water off a ducks back (like Tide). A company’s growth is proportionate to the amount exposure it receives. Consumers control brands today, it’s a critical maxim of online reputation management. The trick is to give the consumer what they want while still being in control of your own brand.  When people think soda, they think Coke, when people think laundry, they think Tide or when people think shopping they think Amazon.  It’s all marketing leveraging valuable media assets, the general product or commodity becomes synonymous with the brand.

Reputation fails

I think all reputation fails stem from an inability to handle problems coupled with the inability to accept consequences. That’s the key difference here. A problem with your reputation means a problem with your brand, means lost revenue, means lost opportunity, etc, etc. The Key difference is that you handle a problem, you move on. Most people encounter the problem, ignore it or handle it poorly and are the worse for it. It’s always interesting to me how fast a company with great revenue, culture and reputation can be completely sideswiped by the smallest utterance of scandal or dissatisfaction. Another interesting case study is how bad blogging on your website with excessive keyword spamming can actually damage your brand or hinder your successful marketing efforts, which believe it or not, has actually happened with some of our clients. They just think they should write about something without actually knowing how to create good content (which google loves btw). I believe Warren Buffet summed it up beautifully,

 It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently. – Warren Buffett

Your reputation is the most obvious thing to the consumer when it comes to your company, isn’t it time to approach your online reputation differently?

CEO / Co-Founder
Brook Zimmatore is the Co-Founder & CEO at Massive.