david harbour


David Harbour’s Tide commercials were the real Super Bowl winner



Michelle Jaworski


Posted on Feb 5, 2018   Updated on May 22, 2021, 2:06 am CDT

It takes an astounding amount of effort for advertisers to capture audience attention during the Super Bowl nowadays, but Tide kept viewers on their toes with a series of fourth-wall-breaking ads full of callbacks.

The first commercial arrived early in the game as Stranger Things star and retweet connoisseur David Harbour parodied a number of Super Bowl commercial tropes. He encompassed everything from a high-end car commercial, soda and beer ads, and something more sensual before twisting it around; no matter the set-up, it was all a Tide ad in disguise, centering on everyone’s clean clothing.

If Tide and Harbour had left it at a single ad, they would’ve had one of the most amusing of the night. But then Harbour showed up again and again in follow-up ads that would air during every quarter. He was on a horse with Old Spice spokesperson Isaiah Mustafa. He used his expert dance moves to take over for Mr. Clean. He even got in on a medicine commercial. But in the end, they were all Tide ads, and once viewers realized the set-up, they started to expect Harbour to show up at any minute.


It wasn’t too far off to suggest that the Super Bowl itself was just one giant Tide ad. To be fair, the new championship T-shirts worn by the Philadelphia Eagles after the game were very clean so you never know.

Share this article
*First Published: Feb 5, 2018, 8:19 am CST