The Tide To Go “Talking Stain” advertisement aired during the Superbowl in 2008. In this 30 second advertisement markets a portable, practical stain stick called Tide To Go.
The commercial takes place in a quiet office space in the scene of a job interview, with an older, grey-haired man in a brown suit conducting the interview and a young brown haired man in his early twenties being interviewed. The prospect is wearing a white shirt and tie, which has a large brown stain on the upper right hand corner. The interviewer begins by asking the common interview question “Tell me about yourself,” however as soon as the young man begins to respond to the question, neither the interviewer nor viewers watching the ad, can focus on his reply because the stain on his shirt becomes animated and begins speaking gibberish loudly. The ad uses humor to over exaggerate the idea that stains can have negative consequences and that Tide To Go is an easy solution to avoid situations such as losing a job over a stained shirt.
There is a very strong emotional appeal in this ad. Being released in 2008, this ad was viewed by the largest TV audience in the middle of a recession in our country. During this time period, unemployment and financial concerns were major problems for the country and many people were trying hard and stressed to find work. This being the case, many consumers could relate to the situation of applying for a new job and the need to make a good impression to land the job. This ad urges the viewers of the ad that the product is crucial in being prepared and looking professional for their own interviews.
The lack of background music in this ad exaggerates the awkward silence that can come from a situation as such in the commercial, and further brings the viewers attention to the clashing voices of the interview prospect and the talking stain.
While most detergent companies aim their campaigns towards women and mothers, as they are usually seen as the ones doing the laundry in the household, this commercial does the opposite. The young man suffering from the stain is an important symbol used by the company to demonstrate how they are fighting this stereotype and that all genders are in need of their product. In fact, following the release of this commercial in 2008, much of the $90.3 million that P&G spent on various Tide to Go “talking Stain” commercials, was to make commercials involving various situations where men were in need of their product, whether on a date or in a grocery store.
Tide (owned by P&G), has recently been working on projects to get their customers more involved in the social media of the company, hoping to form more of a connection with their costumers to help them stand out against other brands. They have launched a series of surveys, giveaways, raffles, and games for costumers to participate in on their website. This ad demonstrates the company’s efforts by promoting further customer involvement with the company in the last few seconds of the commercial where they encourage viewers to share their own personal stain stories on their website for a chance to be famous. This method of advertising was one more way the commercial reached out to connect to viewers.
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