Saatchi & Saatchi Was Not Responsible for Tide Spec Spot That ‘Has Everyone Talking’

By Patrick Coffee 

Today the always-helpful TIME magazine and America Online tell us that “everyone” is talking about this new (fake?) Tide ad, which, in the words of our parent publication, “perfectly spoofs lingering opposition to gay marriage.

The work has been attributed only to director Mark Nickelsburg of Brooklyn’s Tiny Giant, but Adweek discovered the secret that AOL did not: this is a spec spot not approved by the client (which understandably declined to comment despite its history of supporting gay causes this year).

We will assume that the ad, which has garnered more than 500,000 views on Nickelsburg’s personal Facebook page, also inspired a slew of incoherent comments on AOL. It’s very topical given the recent Kim Davis controversy, which ensures that every state south of the Mason-Dixon will continue to look like an inbred, backwoods hellhole for the next decade or so (and we say this as proud Southerners).

There’s a bit of a mystery, however, about its authorship. One source tells us that the Saatchi & Saatchi organization had “nothing to do” with the project while another tells us that now-former Saatchi creatives Barbara Graetzer and Shiraz Gani did come up with the concept for the ad despite the fact that no one in media has given the agency or either of its creatives credit for their work.

Here’s one of those creatives.

At any rate, the client gets a lot of media coverage for a spot that they did not approve, which is…good?

UPDATE: The Saatchi organization tells us that its teams had nothing whatsoever to do with this work. Nickelsburg confirms, writing:

“Shiraz and Barbara came up with the idea, but they did it on their own long after they had left Saatchi.  It was just something fun.  Saatchi wasn’t involved in the spec spot at all, nor was P&G.”

So it’s settled, then. Procter & Gamble, however, has yet to respond to all this free press.