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"It’s a Tide Ad": Tide on Super Bowl

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Detergent is something you want to use instead of talking about it. This is true; laundry and detergent are not the most exciting things to discuss with your friends or post a tweet, even though detergent is a necessity of our life. In the category of laundry detergent, Tide is American’s no.1 detergent. However, its position was being threatened by hundreds of new competitors flooding the market every year. To protect its position in the market, Tide needs to strengthen their brand equity. Therefore, they came up with a crazy, yet amazing plan, and the Super Bowl “It’s a Tide Ad” was born. 

Brand equity is the value of a brand. It can be used to describe the financial asset value of the brand on the stock market or how recognizable that brand in customers’ minds. In the late 1980s, people started to think profoundly about brand equity, and thousands of researches about the term are conducted. Among them all, Aaker and Keller’s models of brand equity are the most well-known. According to Keller, the brand equity model is based on two dimensions: brand awareness and brand image. These things can be created through brand marketing and communication. 

Brand awareness is how easy for the brand to be recognized by customers among thousands of other competitors. A brand with strong brand awareness can increase the chances in selling their products because the brand can be put into consideration set and may stand out from other choices. After 70 years of using aggressive marketing and advertisement, keeping their famous colorful logo, Tide has built a solid brand awareness which helps them control 25.4% of the market share in the US, ranking first place with more than 1017 million US dollars’ worth of sales in 2018. Besides brand awareness, brand image is another part of building the brand equity model. 

Brand image is mostly about consumers’ perception, the impression in consumers’ minds every time someone mentioned the brand. Brand image is built through commercial campaigns and strengthened by their experience when using the products. In this case, the image customers have in mind every time thinking about Tide is a brand providing excellent quality products. This image has been repeated in every of Tide’s advertisements and authenticated by consumers’ clean clothes and 4-star ratings on Walmart.

Even though Tide could satisfy all the needs and wants of consumers with a wide variety of detergents (Trang web Tide), Tide still didn’t have a positive brand image. Because there is no uniqueness in Tide’s products and commercial campaign. No matter how great Tide’s products are, in the end, Tide is just a detergent brand, and every detergent product does the same thing – clean clothes. More than that, detergent is a category in which every brand use sound-alike claims to advertise for their products. Therefore, Tide needs to create a campaign that cannot just increase their sales but differentiate Tide of other competitors. That was the first brief of “It’s a Tide Ad” campaign: do something that’s never been done.

Before doing the “It’s a Tide Ad” campaign, Tide has found out the biggest problem in all laundry detergent campaigns; there is no creativity in doing an advertisement for detergent products, everyone keeps using a dull regular script for every ad. It all starts with clean clothes being dirtied by different kinds of events. Then actors will use the product to wipe out all the stains. Basically, all detergent campaigns focus on dirtiness and stain. Therefore, Tide has decided to approach the problem in another direction; they want people to notice about the result after using their product, perfect cleanliness. 

After understanding the problem, Tide needs to find the right moment, and the Super Bowl is the chosen one. Super Bowl is an event that attracts more than 100 million viewers every year; its rating has always been over 40%. In 2017, there are 7 in 10 US households using their TV at that time tuned to the Super Bowl broadcast. In 2018, the year which Tide launched their campaign NRF’s research showed that there is 24% of audiences thought that commercials are the most important part of the Super Bowl. Therefore, Super Bowl is a situation when every brand brings out their strongest “weapons.”

With only 145 seconds of advertising and repeating the catching phrase “If it’s clean, it got to be Tide,” Tide has successfully hijacked every Super Bowl ad and made audiences wonder if every advertisement they are watching is a Tide ad. The idea of the ad is to mimic every typical Super Bowl ad and make them become a Tide ad by focusing on those incredibly clean clothes worn by actors in the TVCs. Not only using advertisements in this campaign, but Tide also took over social media by activating online influencers to join the conversation. After the first 45-seconds of TVC was broadcast, celebrities started tweeting using the hashtag “#TideAd.” With the act of asking influencers using #TideAd on Twitter combined with broadcasting three more 15-second TVCs, Tide kept reminding audiences to think about Tide in every ad they have seen and took the topic into a higher level. With this campaign, Tide used a completely new idea, focusing on cleanliness instead of dirtiness, which differentiates themselves from other competitors. That idea made their campaign stand out in thousands of other commercial campaigns, showing that creativity is the key to success.  

Marketing activities have always affected building brand equity in both positive and negative ways. In the mix of IMC tools, advertising has known to be one of the most important aspects leading to the success of marketing campaigns and has positive effects on brand equity (Simon and Sullivan 1993, cited in Nuwehed 2018) and its dimensions (Cobb-Walgren et al. 1995, cited in Makasi, Govender & Rukweza 2014). Advertising plays a significant role in growing brand awareness. Besides, advertising positively links the consumer with various brand associations, which in turn increases brand equity (Nuwelhed 2018)

In this case, “It’s a Tide Ad” advertisement has done its job excellently and brought in a great result. After the first TV commercial was aired, “Tide” related mentions increased by 2.167%. During the game, #TideAd was used more than 45000 times, ranked second place on a trending topic in Twitter just behind Super Bowl itself. Tide’s latest product, “Tide Ultra Oxy,” presented in the TVCs, sales increased 35% one week after the Super Bowl. Moreover, with the help of social media, Tide has become a cultural phenomenon. Viewers have played along, asked if every ad they see is a Tide Ad, and created their own content and memes.

This essay has analyzed the brand equity of Tide, including brand awareness and brand image. It has pointed out the lack of uniqueness in Tide’s brand associations and how the “It’s a Tide Ad” IMC campaign improves that. This essay also shows the important role of advertising in building brand equity and creating a successful marketing campaign. Specifically, in this case, was how great the “It’s a Tide Ad” TVC performed and set up the idea for the whole campaign.

References List:

  1. Aatker, D 2013, ‘What Is Brand Equity?’, Aaker On Brands, viewed 15 November 2019, <>.
  2. Aitken, L 2018, ‘How Tide owned the 2018 Super Bowl’, Warc, viewed 10 November 2019, .
  3. Ho, P 2019, ‘Introduction to Advertising’, MKTG1294, RMIT University, viewed 10 November 2019
  4. Mulder, P 2016, Brand Equity, viewed 15 November 2019
  5. Nuwelhed, W 2018, ‘The role of advertising in building brand equity within low involvement products’,

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“It’s a Tide Ad”: Tide on Super Bowl. (2022, May 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 26, 2022, from
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