We interrupt this blog post for a commercial message: have you seen the new Tide “Cold Call” commercials?

They’re some of the funniest ads in years. Procter & Gamble commissioned the spots to go past the usual laundry detergent “cleaner than clean” message. What’s hyped instead is a product that is designed to help the environment and save money. P&G and creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi cleverly launched their campaign on April 22 — Earth Day.

Casting the right people is key to making this wash and Tide hit the bullseye with dead-pan pitchmen Ice-T (Law & Order: SVU) and wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin. The two play telemarketers who “cold call” various celebrities.

Who do they call? Annie Murphy from Schitt’s Creek and NHL Hall of Famer Mark Messier are both featured, with the hockey player showing some serious comedy chops. Look for his spot as the last “Cold Call” featured in the above video. Also scoring in the spots are Vanilla Ice and Mr. T, and I pity the fool who doesn’t think these are hilarious.

Tide has used humour to sell detergent before. Some will remember “Coach Pod” from a few years past.

According to Variety, Procter & Gamble spent $241 million on traditional ads for the detergent in 2020. If that sounds a tad pricey, the product, they say, generated around $4.38 billion in sales for the company in the past 12 months. These new ads came after years of research and were originally set to premiere in 2020 until P&G pushed pause on the campaign through the heat of the pandemic.


The aim with these new spots is to convince consumers to go cold. Between 40 and 45 per cent of all laundry loads are currently washed in cold water, the company calculates. They’ve set a 75 per cent target by 2030 target. Their research suggests that 90 percent of the energy of a single load of laundry is simply heating water. #TurntoCold, they tell Murphy, Messier, Vanilla Ice and Mr. T, and save $100 a year.

According to a report cited in Ad Age magazine, if U.S. consumers make the targeted switch to cold water washing, it would be the equivalent of removing a million cars from the road and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a cumulative 27 metric tons over a decade.

In the meantime, Murphy, Messier and Mr. T, along with Vanilla Ice, get to clean up and feel good about all that green.

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