Campaigns Toggle

Satirical Humor: Tide Has Fun with Being Made Fun Of

satirical humorAn article posted on The Onion, a publication website known for its satirical humor, recently had some fun with Tide. In it, “Fred Hammond, director of digital video and social media integration, Tide Detergent” goes on and on about how great Tide’s new viral video is and encourages everyone to watch it.

Keep in mind, of course, there isn’t a great viral video for people to watch. The article is simply making fun of many marketers’ blatant efforts to promote their brand and products through viral videos, apps, and various social media platforms. In the article, the fictitious Hammond makes a number of sarcastic jokes that seem to accurately mimic many consumers’ feelings about shameless brand promotion. Such statements consist of gems like:

“…it’s so easy to see why this Tide detergent video has the entire Internet abuzz.”

“It’s just so funny! But not just funny – cool, too. If you like things that are funny and cool, you should definitely watch this clip from Tide.”

“In fact, the video is so cool I had to go check out more at @Tide’s Twitter feed!”

Many times, companies realize these types of articles aren’t a direct attack against the company and simply shrug it off. Other times, they get some good marketing ideas from them.

The last paragraph of the article starts off with “Hey, wouldn’t it be incredible if Tide’s unbelievable new viral video and app were just the start of a really awesome online campaign?” Well, it might not be a campaign, but Tide decided a viral video would indeed be awesome.

So, in response, Tide rolled out with an actual viral video (below) stating, “The Onion had fun with Tide this week. Now it’s our turn.” With a Bret Michaels-inspired rock star, hand puppets, and of course some choice product placement, Tide’s real new video has already raked in over 3,000 views since its release on June 1.

I personally thought The Onion article was humorous. But I think Tide’s response is not only hilarious, it’s a brilliant retort (and a marketing effort that companies should make note of). It’s important for companies to be serious about what they do. It’s equally important they don’t take themselves too seriously. Tide did a great job of differentiating the two.


Mark Watson is the Content Editor for Numantra, a Top 20 Ad and Marketing agency in the DFW area. For information about Numantra or business development, call 214.635.2220 or email Dave Evans at