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Tide Talking Stain Ad – Tide To Go – Super Bowl Commercial

According to YouTube’s AdBlitz, The Tide Talking Stain commercial from Super Bowl 2008 was the number 1 commercial of the year. So let’s take a look at why it worked, and how it’s style can be duplicated as a general marketing principle.

There are several things that work about this commercial. First, and foremost, you’ll notice that the majority of the commercial sounds like an annoying foreign language. This grabs the viewer’s attention because immediately the viewer is aware that he is unable to make sense of the pseudo-language. Not only does it grab the viewer’s attention, but it forces him or her to focus even harder while trying to make sense of the gibberish.

But annoying often doesn’t work by itself. In fact, annoying can create negative associations with the product. So Tide needed to pull in a few additional strategies to make this commercial work. What did they do?

Well, two things. They brought in the humor hook part-way through the advertisement, introducing a surprise absurdity: a talking stain on the interviewee’s shirt. They simultaneously introduced the “I can relate” hook both in terms of awkward embarrassment for the interviewee and empathy for the interviewer (everyone’s been in a situation where their conversation partner has some embarrassing “look at me” issue).

The “I can relate” hook works wonder for reinforcing the viewer’s need for the product. No one wants to walk into an interview with a distracting stain on their shirt. What’s the solution? Tide To Go.

Brilliant Marketing.