There is a lot of pressure that goes into creating a good Super Bowl commercial. This is especially true these days, since fans can react instantly to Super Bowl commercials via social media. If a commercial is funny, it will be apparent immediately thanks to Twitter and Instagram. If someone is even a bit offended by a commercial during the big game, it will be clear on Twitter.
There are many critics, even when it comes to commercials. Sometimes a joke lands. Other times that’s not the case. And, then, there’s something in between those two extremes when an add zeroes in on a very specific population with an inside joke. In regard to Tide’s 2021 Super Bowl ad, that demographic was Seinfeld fans.
The laundry detergent commercial started with a mother telling her son that he needs to wash his “Jason Alexander sweatshirt,” which he insisted wasn’t dirty. Then, scene after scene, proved that mother really does know best. That sweatshirt had been through a lot and a fresh wash was definitely needed. However, some people (non-Seinfeld viewers) were confused by the premise. One viewer wondered, “How the hell do you even come up with a Tide commercial about Jason Alexander’s face? Who thought of this?!! They was watchin ‘Seinfeld‘ and was like ‘yeaaaaa. Laundry. George Castanza [sic].'”
Well, truth be told, that connection between fresh laundry and Seinfeld wasn’t abundantly clear, but there was a reference thrown in that the sitcom’s biggest fans definitely appreciated.
Tide referenced a classic 'Seinfeld' moment
Tide’s 2021 Super Bowl commercial included the song “Believe It Or Not” by Joey Scarbury. Jason Alexander’s Seinfeld character George Costanza remixed the track with his own, personalized lyrics for his voicemail message during an episode called “The Susie.” He famously sang, “Believe it or not, George isn’t home. Please leave a message after the beep. I must be out or I’ll pick up the phone. Where could I be? Believe it or not, I’m not home.”
And Super Bowl viewers were picking up what Tide was laying down. Or at least the die-hard Seinfeld fans were. One person remarked, “That Tide commercial was for deep cut Seinfeld fans… and I am one!” Another fan tweeted, “Maybe it’s bc I’m a huge #Seinfeld fan, but I can’t NOT laugh whenever I hear that ‘Believe It Or Not’ song and think about George’s answering machine message, but I wonder if non Seinfeld fans understood/liked that Tide ad too.”
One Twitter user (accurately) declared, “That tide ad is just for Seinfeld fans.” Another fan, remembered and wrote out George’s answering machine lyrics, confessing” that it was all he “could think of during that tide sweatshirt commercial.” And clearly, he’s not the only one who felt that way.
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