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Consumers Give New Voice to Tide to Go's 'Talking Stain'

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Procter & Gamble is promoting the launch of its new Tide to Go Mini stain remover pen with a series of consumer-generated spoofs airing on prime time TV this month.

The first of four spots, "Questions for Dollars Game Show," debuted last night on NBC. It depicts a game show contestant unable to answer questions because he is distracted by a large, talking stain on the host's shirt. The 30-second ad is one of three finalists from P&G's "My Talking Stain" contest. The online campaign, which ran through March 3, asked consumers to submit videos of real-life situations where Tide to Go came to the rescue.

P&G is using the ads to drive attention to its popular stain remover pen, which this month became available in a lipstick-size mini. The new Tide to Go Mini pen costs $2.99.

"People are so addicted to the Tide to Go pen that they want it all the time," said Suzanne Watson, associate marketing director for Tide, North America. "It's important for them to be able to have it on the go: in their purse, briefcase, pants pocket, car, wherever."

Upcoming ads airing on Sept. 10 and 18 tout the pen's stain-removing properties. Unlike its orange predecessor, the mini version is available in blue.

P&G will reveal additional contest finalists later this month. NBC will broadcast the winning TV spot during the season premiere of the hit show The Office on Thursday, Sept. 25. All four ads will continue running through the fall.

"It's leveraging our launch of Tide to Go Mini with our linkage and partnership with the Super Bowl," said Tide's assistant brand manager Dave Brenner, referring to the original "Talking Stain" ad that ran during Super Bowl XLII in February.

The 30-second spot, via Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, showed a large brown stain stealing all the attention away from a job candidate during an interview. Following the success of that ad, P&G decided to capitalize on the "talking stain" theme, asking consumers to create spoofs mimicking the ad.

Brenner added, "The team really wanted to reach out and connect with consumers in a whole different way . . . This is the biggest consumer engagement we've ever done."