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Tide aims to be more inclusive with new ads

P&G is on a mission to reflect the diversity of its customer base

Tide is on a mission to reflect the diversity of its customer base in its advertising.

The brand’s latest television commercial features a same sex couple bickering over a classic household purchase decision – whether to buy name brand or generic.

The ad launched in Canada last month. The brand is currently “evaluating the spot for potential rotation,” in the U.S., according to Manon Lapierre, communications manager at Tide’s parent company, Procter & Gamble. “We aired it first in Canada, which is exciting,” she said.

This marks the first time Tide has shown gay characters in its Canadian advertising. Lapierre said the ad is part of a general effort to demonstrate inclusiveness in P&G ads and, more specifically, to ensure LGBT consumers see themselves and their families in Tide’s marketing.

“We’re addressing the diversity, the different kinds of families that love and use Tide everywhere in Canada,” she said. “We want to reflect this in who we talk to and the way we talk to them, so that they feel included in the messaging.”

“In this particular ad, it’s a way to talk to gay couples and gay consumers out there. Hopefully they feel we are talking to them directly.”

Recent months brought a slew of ads featuring gay characters from mass brands, including Tiffany’s, DirectTV, Cheerios and Nikon. Speaking of the increase in LGBT representation in marketing, Lapierre said, “I feel it’s a great, positive thing that brands, including us, are leveraging these new models of families and are being more inclusive. It puts out there a message of normality around that kids see on TV, that kids see in magazines, and hopefully will continue the openness of Canadians.”

The Tide commercial is one of several recent P&G efforts that includes people of varying ethnicities, and also consumers with disabilities.

An ad for Swiffer, for instance, features the Rukavinas, a real-life biracial couple. In the spot, P&G leaves the couple a care package filled with Swiffer products that will help make cleaning easier for husband Zack, who lost one of his arms to cancer. “We know that many kinds of families love and use the Tide brand. We strive all the time to reflect that diversity in our advertising,” said Lapierre. “That’s the mandate that we take.”

“As a brand, we want to talk to everyone. We want to be inclusive.”

This article originally appeared in Marketing Magazine.

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