NEW YORK – Tide’s seeming takeover of the 2018 Super Bowl was part of a “multidimensional solution” that started with a pre-game tease in social media featuring Terry Bradshaw, who didn’t end up in any of this year’s commercials.
“We preplanned out a lot of how we wanted the social to work around it and how we would activate social channels and key opinion leaders to do a really smart push full strategy,” says Scott Hagedorn, CEO of Procter & Gamble media agency Hearts & Science. “It worked out really well.”
Well enough that ADWEEK dubbed the four Tide spots collectively as “the runaway winner” ahead of efforts for Amazon, Doritos/Mountain Dew, Tourism Australia and the NFL’s own campaign.
Hagedorn says the strategy for the Super Bowl work, ads for which were produced by Saatchi & Saatchi, started with the client. The idea was to cast actor David Harbour, known to Netflix viewers as scruffy sheriff Jim Hopper in “Stranger Things,” as a kind of narrator in sparkling clean clothes who talks to viewers about commercials they are seeing.
Tide was able to co-opt its ads “into other Super Bowl ads to make them Tide ads, and they ultimately became P&G ads,” Hagedorn explains in this Beet.TV interview following his speech at the 4A’s Data Summit.
Tide had purchased a 45-second spot in the first quarter to set up the narrative and one 15-second ad in each succeeding quarter. “The interesting thing about marketing now is you can create kind of a multidimensional solution. You can plan for the social ramp up and the social ramp down,” Hagedorn says.
Last year, Bradshaw appeared in a Tide spot with a fake stain on his shirt during what appeared to be a live broadcast but was shot weeks earlier. “This year that was all a tease” to make fans believe that “were going to do a repeat of last year’s Super Bowl stunt.”
In 2015, Hearts & Science won the P&G media account in North America, setting the stage for the agency’s launch the next year. It has since won business from AT&T, “quietly started working on QuickBooks with TBWA,” won the Barclays account with OMD in the U.K. and had a hand in the New York Times Golden Globes “He Said, She Said” work with Droga5.
Hagedorn credits four tenets—agility, empowerment, intelligent scale and open standards—for the agency’s “hot and heavy” new business winning streak. “We’re hoping to wrap a lot of the pitches up that we’ve been working on and carry it through into Q2, but then I look forward to slowing us down a little bit and trying to ingest it and bring it all in.”
This video was produced at the 4A’s Data Summit in New York. Please find other videos produced at the conference here.