Tide Knows: Olympians Are Messy Eaters, Too

Turns out Olympic heroes are as likely to make a mess of their shirts as anyone else.

Tide’s new ad spot, Stains Happen to the Best of Us, makes that point with two* Olympic legends, as Noah Lyles dribbles tomato sauce, and Carl Lewis is done in by a chocolate sundae.

The spots are funny in that reassuring Tide way. “Pasta? In Paris?” Lewis teases Lyles as he contemplates the spaghetti sauce on his Olympic jacket. “When in Rome,” Lyles shoots back.

“We think Olympians are superhumans, but they're just like us,” says Alex Perez, P&G laundry senior brand director, in an email to Marketing Daily. “Everyone experiences stains. Tide wanted to unite the audience and be fun and playful. Tough stains can happen to anyone, but you don't need to be embarrassed.”



And Lyles and Lewis get laughs. “Our audience is fairly balanced between men and women. We take immense pride in being the brand of the people. It’s important to us that our consumers see themselves in our advertising campaigns – not just one commercial,” he says. Historically, Tide has shown men doing laundry just as much as women. 

The new ad, created by Saatchi & Saatchi, will run on TV, streaming, online video, and social media. “This will be one of our main messages on TV surrounding the timeframe of the Olympic Games Paris 2024,” Perez adds. “This will include both during Olympic programming as well as outside Olympic-specific programming.

Tide is the No. 1 detergent brand in the U.S., and P&G commands about 25% share of the global laundry category. But the coming Olympic games are set against a challenging time for giant P&G. Battling macroeconomic headwinds, it posted $20.2 billion in revenues in its most recent quarterly result, a gain of just 1%.

The fabric and homecare division, which includes Tide, fared a bit better, with quarterly sales rising 2% to $7.17 billion.

This year, the CPG giant has switched up its Olympics marketing strategy, downplaying the company name to focus on ads for individual brands, including Tide, Always and Pampers.

It’s also featured in “The Other Games,” a new six-episode competition series for NBC’s Peacock streaming hub, where comedians and influencers compete in a game that involves such P&G products as Swiffer and Cascade. Variety reports that the show will stream on Peacock just ahead of NBC’s Olympics coverage.

*An earlier version this story misidentified one of the athletes. 

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