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The Immortal Awards

Surfing The Tide-al Wave of Immortality

LBB’s Addison Capper chats with the creators of It’s a Tide Ad, one of only four winners of the inaugural Immortal Awards

Surfing The Tide-al Wave of Immortality

During this year’s Super Bowl there was one campaign that stood out head and shoulders above the rest. Saatchi & Saatchi New York and Tide’s super cheeky hijack of every Super Bowl ad archetype sent social media into meltdown. There were reportedly 640 media stories written about it. It's also just been awarded one of only four Immortals at the inaugural Immortal Awards. 

“The brief was simple, but daunting,” Saatchi & Saatchi New York’s Blake Morris and Jacopo Biorcio, two of the creatives on the campaign, tell us. “‘Be the most loved brand in the Super Bowl.’ No pressure, right?”

To add to that pressure, Tide had experienced widespread success during the 2017 Super Bowl with Bradshaw Stain - success is good, but Blake and Jacopo were aware that it also meant viewers would have higher expectations and that they needed to find a new point of view for 2018. “Traditionally, Tide has always been the brand that gets out stains,” they say. “Once we pivoted, and realised Tide is synonymous with clean clothes, the idea became clear: whenever you see clean clothes, that’s a Tide ad. We built on this idea, with a meta element that made people aware that there were other Tide ads out there.”

Traktor, who directed the campaign through Rattling Stick, were also wary of the pressure of following up 2017's Super Bowl effort. "We thought that it would hard to beat the Bradshaw Stain from last year, but when we saw this one, we were just flabbergasted," the collective says. "Wow, they did it again! We know that they worked extremely hard over at Saatchis trying to up the ante – and boy howdy, they succeeded! The idea talks for itself and we were of course thrilled when we’ve got it."

Despite the fact that the brand only had one 45-second ad slot and three 15-second ones, people fully embraced the idea, wondering when the next ‘Tide ad’ would come, engaging with the campaign and creating an effect that made it seem like the brand had more ads than it actually did. “People were drawn to social, where they questioned whether or not ads were authentic or a Tide ad. This is the moment where the concept grew, which was exactly what we had anticipated.”


But did they ever expect it to have the effect that it did? According to Javier ‘Javi’ Campopiano, who was the chief creative officer at Saatchi & Saatchi New York while the campaign was created and launched but has since joined FCB Mexico, the answer is no. “I was terrified,” he told us in May. “I wasn’t thinking about success - I never do, I am Argentinian. I was thinking that what could go wrong was that the key thought behind the idea might have been too intellectual for the Super Bowl – but it was too late because we had already shipped all the commercials. But then the first reactions to the long form ad started on Twitter, and I of course switched to a more winning mode, and I felt great and confident again.”

Immortal Awards juror and head of Stories at Instagram was a lover of the campaign while judging in New York recently. “Tide succeeded in not just owning their category but every other product category as well. Great insight, awesome and hilarious execution,” he says, while his juror Laura Gregory, founder and CEO at Great Guns, adds, “Thoughts and memories that challenge and make you crack up each time you view, time and time again, what’s not to applaud? It will be Immortal for years to come”.


Javi believes the campaign’s success was founded in its purity and lack of attempts to do anything but showcase what a brand does well with its product. “It’s good advertising in its purest form, and it is not trying to save the world, as many brands are – allegedly – doing these days,” he said. “And it’s not that there’s anything wrong with that; I love some of the great examples of that type of work, like ‘Fearless Girl’ or a recent Levi’s campaign from our [FCB] San Francisco office. But I feel that when you have a great product and a big stage, if you can tap into what the brand does well and start from there to come up with a smart idea, audiences will still love seeing that old magic trick happening in front of their eyes.” 

“Problem solving at its best” is what embodied the Tide campaign and what made people fall in love with advertising many years ago, believes Javi. “In this case the problem was, ‘how do you win the Big Game just talking about clean clothes?’ The solution was a ‘hack’; it was clever and a little bit arrogant, but at the same time, undeniably true. People root for these kinds of ideas. They side with them and they expand them – because they make them feel a little bit smarter and part of something cool.”


The task of mimicking the styles of other ads offered up some particular challenges in production, too. Phil Loeb, partner at Heard City, who handled the sound design on the campaign, says: "Initially, we treated each ad as its own - sound designing and mixing each one as a unique spot. In cases where the ad was directly referencing another we had to be mindful to work within the original sound direction. In some instances we went as far as to use the existing sound assets from the referenced spots to get as close as possible."

Whereas Traktor found the process a little easier! "Mimicking? The different genres are deeply rooted in our underwear by now… We just push the D.A.B. (Directorial Auto Button) and this stuff comes out by itself."

What's more, a specially designed workflow helped move the process along more smoothly. "We needed to work as efficiently as possible on this job," Phil says. "Considering that we were tasked with sound designing and mixing multiple spots within a spot, we knew we had to delegate the work accordingly. At Heard City, we've designed a workflow that encourages the simultaneous allocation of the individual components of a complex job across different sound designers and mixers. In this case, Evan Mangiamele created the sound design while Phil Loeb was working on the dialogue and music portions. This collaboration allowed for the clients to make comments, and for us to revise and integrate the changes immediately into the final product."



Coming back to Blake and Jacopo from Saatchi & Saatchi, the pair are incredibly proud of the effect It’s a Tide Ad had on the Super Bowl but also, perhaps more importantly, even further beyond that. “During the Super Bowl, viewers were actually wondering if other brand’s commercials were Tide ads,” they say. “That’s a pretty cool feeling, especially on a stage when every brand is debuting their very best creative. 

“The campaign really got the viewers involved, too. People were waiting for David to appear and each time he did, they rushed to their phones to post that Tide had surprised them once again, tagging their post with #TideAd. This hashtag was ultimately used more than 45,000 times and became the number two trending topic on Twitter, second to the Super Bowl itself. The fact that we were able to propel this campaign to reach not only those watching live, but across digital and social, was the momentum we needed to further the idea’s impact far beyond game day.”

Traktor echo the thoughts of Blake and Jacopo, and aired nothing but praise for the effort the creatives put into making the project what it eventually was. "It was an intense shoot!" they exclaim. The creative team never gave up, and were working overtime, trying to beat what we had in the script. Scenes were rewritten and finessed up until the cameras were rolling (and even during…).

"It was a very positive creative process, and with a top crew we managed to make something special in the end. Phew!"




Credits

Client: Procter & Gamble
VP, North America Fabric Care - Sundar Raman
Brand Director, North America Fabric Care Delivery - Vedran Miletic
BBIC - Kimberly Doebereiner
Manager, Advertising Production - Paul Chick
Brand Manager - Jennifer Maxwell
Assistant Brand Manager - Alex Perez
Brand Communications Manager - Matthew Wormington

Creative Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi NY
Chief Executive Officer – Andrea Diquez
Chief Creative Officer - Javier Campopiano
Executive Creative Director - Paul Bichler
Creative Director - Daniel Lobaton
Creative Director - Chad Baker
Associate Creative Director - Max McKeon
Art Director - Erin Evon
Art Director - Jacopo Biorcio
Associate Creative Director - Kiko Mattoso
Associate Creative Director - Rafael Segri
Senior Art Director - Maddy Kramer
Copywriter - Blake Morris
Director of Integrated Production – Jenny Read
Executive Producer - Dani Stoller
Producer - Danielle Hallack
Director of Business Affairs - Robin Oksenhendler
Senior Business Affairs Manager - Lisa Rimmer
Strategy Director - Nayantara Mukherji
Digital Director - Alan Lin
Strategist - Corina Arnal
SVP, Regional Account Director - Nick Miaritis
VP, Account Director - Ryan Martin
Senior Account Supervisor - Jennifer Brotman
Account Supervisor - Guillermo Betancourt
Ecommerce Account Manager - Jed Karnowski
Account Executive - Jennifer McGill
Assistant Account Executive - Courteney Case

Production Company: Rattling Stick
Director - Traktor
Partner/Executive Producer - Joe Biggins
Executive Producer - Jeff Shupe
Executive Producer/Traktor - Richard Ulfvengren
Head of Production - Richard McIntosh
Director of Photography - Hoyte van Hoytema
Production Designer - Tom Hartman
Line Producer - Rachel Curl

Editorial Company: Arcade Edit
Editor - Jeff Ferruzzo
Assistant Editor - Jeff Lopus
Executive Producer - Sila Soyer
Producer - Andrew Cravotta

VFX: The Mill
Creative Director - Becky Porter
VFX Supervisor - James Allen
Executive Producer - Anastasia von Rahl
Producer - Marcus Speaker

Music: Personel Music 
Composer - Alexis Estiz
Producer - Courtney Jenkins
Mixer: Philip Loeb
Color: Tom Poole


Media: Hearts and Science
Executive Business Director - Daniel Bueckman
Director, Senior Category - Scott Minor
Director, Video Investment  - Shari Wyler
Associate Director, Biddable Social - Mariko Hunt
Associate Director, Biddable Search - Cate French
Supervisor, Search - Kevin Bonnesen
Strategy Supervisor - Claire Richard
Strategy - Steven Signore
Strategist, Biddable - Rebekah Hsiung
Managing Director, Optimum Sports - Jeremy Carey
Senior Director, Optimum Sports -  Matt Greenberg
Account Director, Optimum Sports - Kristen Grey
Associate Director, Optimum Sports - Sam Levy
Associate Director, Optimum Sports - Neil Messing
Supervisor, Optimum Sports - Jack Knobloch
Celebrity Talent Acquisition: Platinum Rye Entertainment
Senior Director, Talent - Lori Heckman Golden 
Director, Sports Marketing - Brad Griffiths 
Manger, Talent - Megan Ryan

PR: Taylor
Managing Partner - John Liporace
Vice President - Travis Rexroad
Vice President - Brianna Kauffman
Account Supervisor - Alex Stathis
Senior Account Executive - Kayla Kaplan
Assistant Account Executive - Halley Barnes
Creative Director - Brianna Bishop
Senior Copywriter - Chris Shreve
Social Media Manager - Mike Macias

PR: MMK
Chief Strategy Officer - Joydeep Dey
Group Senior Vice President - Lindsay Kamin
Senior Vice President - Dustin Sveum
Senior Vice President - Samantha Halpern
Senior Vice President - Marissa Festante
Vice President - Alex Taylor
Sports Marketing: MKTG
Senior Vice President - Sam Riber
Senior Director - Jordan Futscher 
Account Associate - Rob Sipniewski 
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