The Drum Awards Festival - Extended Deadline

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By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

June 14, 2022 | 2 min read

We asked our readers to vote for their favorite commercials of all time. Top creatives from the World Creative Rankings and The Drum’s Judges’ Club then ranked the ads. Now, we bring you the definitive 100 best TV and video ads of all time.

Is it a car ad, an ad for beer, or an insurance commercial? It’s a Tide ad.

In the age of on-demand streaming and fast-forwarding recorded shows, football fans around the nation still sit through commercials for one event every year: the Super Bowl. In fact, the NFL’s annual championship game is the most-watched television broadcast in the US to this day.

For this reason, advertisers put a lot of effort into making Super Bowl ads an intrinsic part of the experience. Tide decided to surpass the high stakes with its Super Bowl ad in 2018, ‘It’s a Tide Ad’. The concept? Mimicking every typical Super Bowl commercial.

The Saatchi & Saatchi-produced spot features actor David Harbour, best known for his role as Jim Hopper in the sci-fi television series Stranger Things. In the one-minute, 12-second spot, viewers are bombarded with imagery from everything but a detergent ad, but they’re reminded that they are indeed watching a commercial for Tide via the spotless clothes everyone is wearing. Even the white shirt a greasy mechanic is wearing is spotless.

Tide’s concept worked swimmingly. During the game, #TideAd was reportedly used more than 45,000 times, and ranked second place on a trending topic on Twitter, just behind the Super Bowl itself.

The overall purpose of the ad is to shed light on a largely overlooked truth about television: every ad is an ad for Tide since every actor is in clean, unblemished dress. Thus, ‘It’s a Tide Ad’ won one of the most prestigious awards in advertising: D&AD’s Black Pencil. The unforgettable commercial made for a perfect pivot from the unfortunate trend of eating Tide pods, which at the time had become associated with the brand.

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