Tide Rolls In With An Emmy Nomination
Paul Bichler, executive creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi NY
Saatchi ECD Paul Bichler reflects on TV Academy recognition for “It’s A Tide Ad”
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Procter & Gamble scored two primetime commercial Emmy nominations this year--one for “The Talk” out of BBDO New York, the other for Tide detergent’s “It’s A Tide Ad” from Saatchi & Saatchi NY. Earlier, SHOOT caught up with the creative team on “The Talk” (SHOOTonline, 7/31/18). Now we connect with Paul Bichler, executive director at Saatchi NY, to get his reflections on his shop’s Emmy-nominated Tide spot.

The Tide work in essence hijacked the 2018 super bowl telecast by turning seemingly every ad into a Tide commercial. It kicked off with actor David Harbour establishing that whenever the viewer sees clean clothes, it’s a #TideAd. He then appeared six more times in stereotypical Super Bowl ads, send-ups of several infamous past Super Bowl spots, and even as part of the broadcast. #TideAd trended on Twitter immediately, with people even generating their own #TideAd content.

For the Tide campaign, Saatchi turned to directing collective Traktor who at the time was with production company Rattling Stick. Traktor has since signed with Stink for global representation.

The Emmy nomination is the latest accolade bestowed upon “It’s A Tide Ad” which also took top honors at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, including a Titanium Lion and sharing the Film Grand Prix with P&G’s “The Talk.”

Bichler said of the Tide campaign, “Our biggest challenge was to make effective advertising that would be as entertaining and rewarding as the content we were interrupting. And we were running in the Super Bowl, so it was an incredibly high bar. Our goal was to add to the experience of watching the game with advertising, something people usually want to skip.”

Relative to backstory and how the campaign evolved,” Bichler shared, “We approached the Super Bowl as a three-hour viewing experience and developed our spots to keep the idea alive throughout the entire game.  As we worked through the creative process, we started to understand the constraints we would face and evolved the creative. We wanted the idea to grow and gain momentum over the course of the game, so we sequenced our spots so that the idea felt like it was always getting bigger. We interspersed short bumper ads between some of our 15 second ads. We divided a 15 into two 7.5 second ads. All to give the impression that we were everywhere.”

As for why Saatchi gravitated to Traktor for the plum Super Bowl assignment, Bichler explained, “We worked with Traktor and Rattling Stick on the previous year’s Super Bowl and it was a great experience. The previous year’s shoot had a lot of challenges. We had torrential cold rain, multiple overnight shoots and a really complicated program. They took it all in stride and did an amazing job. We knew this year was going to be another big challenge so we were confident they were the only guys for the job. Every time we faced a hurdle, we got together and came up with an even better solution. It made all the work better.”

Bichler said of the Emmy nomination, “To be included with the best of the entire TV industry is truly humbling. The Emmys represent so much of what we aspire to. The content that inspired us all to work in the industry. The dedication of so many individuals to the art of television. It’s an incredible honor.”

Nominees’ circle
In addition to “It’s A Tide Ad” and “The Talk,” this year’s field of primetime commercial nominees consists of: the Monica Lewinsky anti-bullying PSA “In Real Life” directed by Win Bates via BBDO Studios for BBDO New York; Apple’s “Earth: Shot on iPhone” from TBWA\Media Arts Lab; and Amazon’s “Alexa Loses Her Voice” directed by Wayne McClammy of Hungry Man for agency Lucky Generals.

Directed by Malik Vitthal of The Corner Shop, “The Talk” is part of P&G’s continuing My Black Is Beautiful initiative. The piece features different African-American parents having “The Talk” with their kids about racial bias and how it can make life more difficult--and at times even more dangerous. In one of this piece’s most poignant moments, a girl behind the wheel of a car insists she’s a good driver and her mom doesn’t need to tell her what to do if she gets pulled over. The girl has no intention of getting pulled over because she obeys the speed limit and the rules of the road. Mom doesn’t doubt that but she has to explain to her daughter, “This is not about you getting a ticket. This is about you not coming home.”

Meanwhile Lewinsky’s PSA serves as a powerful exploration of bullying by recasting the issue and asking the question: “If this behavior is unacceptable in real life, why is it so normal online?”  The film portrays people publicly acting out real online comments to illustrate that at the receiving end of every comment is a real person--a fact all too easy to forget in today’s online culture.  While the bullies and the recipients of denigrating talk in the PSA are actors, those who intervene to stop the bullying are real people, which gives a life-affirming positive tone to the work.

Amazon’s “Alexa Loses Her Voice,” which debuted on the Super Bowl this past February, shows what happens when news breaks that Amazon’s personal digital assistant has lost her voice. Thankfully Amazon has a backup plan with celebrity stand-in voices at the ready--from Gordon Ramsey to Rebel Wilson, Cardi B and Sir Anthony Hopkins. The plan works--kind of.

And the “Shot on iPhone” campaign first debuted in 2015 showcasing the photos and videos of iPhoneographers around the world, all beautifully captured with the powerfully capable camera on the iPhone. Over the years, the platform has evolved to include content celebrating cultural moments like Bastille Day or Chinese New Year, and to communicate the brand’s values. Such is the case with this year’s Emmy-nominated piece--”Earth: Shot on iPhone”--which was a timely love note to the planet and a poignant reminder that our environment is precious.

The primetime commercial Emmy winner will be announced and honored on Sept. 8, the first of the two-day weekend Creative Arts Emmy Awards proceedings in Los Angeles. 


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