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Following a satirical May 29 article from “news source” The Onion on a Tide viral video that was “the hottest thing on the web right now,” P&G, owner of the high equity laundry detergent brand, and brand agency Digitas rolled with the publicity, debuting a YouTube video on June 1 that fit the somewhat outlandish specifications described in The Onion article in a very tongue-in-cheek fashion. The video, knowingly named “Cool New Tide Detergent Video,” features an 80s-styled rocker folding laundry in a living room setting while surrounded by singing animal puppets and Tide products.
With the quick comeback and its ability to laugh at itself, the Tide brand is certainly coming out the winner in this spin. Mocked for trying to force viral sensations, the video has gone meta to actually become a viral sensation—but with everyone in on the joke. Tide continues to gain and reap the benefits of the publicity, but also endears itself to the video’s viewers—and maybe even some detractors—by winkingly mocking itself, as well.
Social media allows companies and brands—even those as high-profile as legacy brand Tide—to be a little looser and less restrained in their marketing efforts, as well as allowing for timely rejoinders to publicity issues. For beauty companies, social media is a great way to connect seriously with consumers through how-to content and information on ingredients, trends, sustainability and beyond, but it’s also a chance to inject some personality into a brand, whether that is through humor or quirkiness or something else. It helps consumers see brands in a new, more relatable light.
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