Tide Introduced 'Jason Alexander Hoodie' for Its Super Bowl Ad, Opening the Door for Viral Merchandise Frenzy
Unfortunately, our clothes can’t talk to us and tell us when they really need to be washed. But, what if they could at least express emotion?
That’s the plot of a new Tide ad airing during the Super Bowl, where a sweatshirt all-over-printed with “Seinfeld” star Jason Alexander’s face reacts to the hardships of being worn by a high school boy.
The decoration is CGI. But immediately after seeing this, we, along with the rest of the internet, started wondering if an actual, printed version of Jason Alexander Hoodie was available for purchase.
Unfortunately, for now, the answer is “no.”
We say “for now” because previous Super Bowl ads have gone viral and added some tactile tie-ons. Remember the Avocados from Mexico shopping network? That was genius.
So, come the day after the Super Bowl, when we’re all celebrating another Andy Reid masterclass and laughing at Tom Brady losing on his new home turf, we might also be talking about Jason Alexander Hoodie. And, as the internet mob demands its cotton sacrifice, Tide might finally oblige the masses and print at least one facial expression on a hoodie. If Tide was really going for the win (unlike the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX), it would print multiple versions. Neutral/Content Jason Alexander. Disgusted Taking-Out-The-Trash Jason Alexander. Hit-By-Basketball-Ouch Jason Alexander.
People have spent a lot of money on much dumber concepts.
The hoodie is in your court now, Tide.
But, in the meantime, there are lessons here from the advertising firm responsible for this commercial. Why a hoodie? Why a hoodie with Jason Alexander, of all people?
“We did some research on hoodies with celebrity faces on them,” says Daniel Lobatón, chief creative officer of Saatchi & Saatchi NY, said to AdAge. “Turns out, there’s a weird combination of what makes these great. Ironic and iconic nostalgia is something we threw around in the creative department. Jason brings everything we were looking for in this story. He was amazing to work with and full of ideas of how we could make this funnier. He was so specific with his acting, giving us a range of emotions—for a hoodie.”
Irony and nostalgia are basically the two main ingredients in any viral hit appealing to millennials and Gen Z. The kid in the commercial might not have even been born by the time "Seinfeld" ended, and definitely doesn't get the incredible reference the commercial is making with its song choice.
But, it doesn't matter. Jason Alexander will get his meme status after this airs, the people will talk about "Jason Alexander Hoodie" for a couple of weeks. And maybe, just maybe, we'll see one in real life.
Word on the street (Adweek) is that Alexander will appear in another ad, where he's shopping for a sweatshirt of his own. Could that be a clue that we'll see them in the future?
Do the right thing, Tide.