While the Philadelphia Eagles may have won the Super Bowl, the other winner was Tide. Their ads consistently hit the mark and take home the top prize for me.
In my workshops and upcoming book I teach six principles for Making Ads More Effective. Tide nailed it on almost every point.
Principle #1 Don’t Look or Sound Like an Ad
Okay, they actually looked and sounded like every ad out there. But on purpose. It was the meta moment of advertising where they spoofed every single ad out there. Well done, Tide! Well done!
Principle #2 Make Only One Point
Clothes are clean. Must be a Tide Ad. Point taken.
Principle #3 Tell a Story
This may be a stretch, but the fact that they didn’t have a one-and-done campaign—heck, they even had a cameo during the telecast in football uniforms—made this a story campaign. I’ll give them props for that. Even after learning their joke, they continued to surprise us. Admit it. You laughed at the Mr. Clean ad.
Principle #4 Speak to the Heart
Laughter, Love, Anger, and Fear all speak to the heart. The Tide Ads made me laugh out loud. More importantly, their humor was tied directly to the product. T-Mobile showed a bunch of babies but didn’t tie it back to their phone service. Mass Mutual’s pregame ad was the same—heartwarming, but it could have been anyone. Budweiser, Verizon, and Hyundai did emotional ads tied back to their actions, but they all felt a little contrived.
Principle #5 Speak to the Tribe
The Tide Tribe is people who love clean clothing. If you’re a Tide user, that ad spoke to you strongly and reinforced your belief that Tide makes the cleanest clothing.
Principle #6 Make Your Customer the Star
Even in my book I point out that few Super Bowl ads ever use this principle. Kraft tried with modest success. I liked what they were trying to do, even felt it spoke to their tribe, but it didn’t quite speak to the heart as well as it could have. In the Super Bowl, close doesn’t count.
Tide didn’t make you the star, but after hitting on the first five principles, I’m going to call it a solid win for them.
Good night everyone!
PS Feel free to share your own comments on the ads you liked best (or least). I missed a commercial break in the third quarter when NBC went off the air for about ten minutes in our area.
PPS I also liked the Rocket Mortgage Ad in the first quarter making things simpler and more understandable. Then again, that spoke directly to me and what I try to do for a living—make things more understandable.
PPPS The Doritos Ad with Peter Dinklage was stupid, until they doubled down with Mountain Dew Ice and Morgan Freeman to make it almost work. That ad, however, is done. From this point forward it will only be annoying. One-and-done is not a successful campaign, nor will it make me want to buy either product.