Wednesday, February 20, 2013

the deception

The black-and-white commercial opens with a cartoon housewife hanging her laundry drearily on a clothesline. A Grinch-like voice-over sings.

                         Her wash was sad.
                                   It looked so bad.
            On wash day she felt mean.

Then the tone of the ditty brightens. The housewife is hanging her laundry with glee. She's smiling and skipping, and starbursts pop up all around her clothespinned shirts and towels. Her laundry is radiant, sparkling. The singer is happier too.

                                 Along came Tide
                  and then she cried,
                           "I never had it so clean!"

She pokes her head between a white shirt and a white towel, sweeping them to the side like she's parting morning curtains.

                           "So white! So bright!
                  How can Tide work
                                  such miracles?"

"How?" A cartoon scientist in a flying washing machine descends from the heavens to answer her question. "I'll show you."

"There's Tide washing some mighty dirty clothes," the scientist says. "Now take a close-up look at the fiber of the clothes magnified one hundred times." They both lean into his magnifying glass, into the sudsy wash. The bubbles loom larger and larger as the camera zooms in closer.

Through the magic of animation the scientist's magnifying glass is strong enough to bring the dirt particles into view, and you can see them in close-up in a circle in the center of the screen. The dirt's lodged in the weave of the fibers, but Tide's swirling bubbles penetrate deeply, lifting the dirt away until only the words CLEANING POWER remain in the field of view.

"See, there's Tide's miracle cleaning power! Look how it goes after grimy dirt and dulling soap film. Gets 'em out and pulls 'em out as no product could before."

It's only cartoon dirt and cartoon bubbles, of course, but it's enough to satisfy the cartoon housewife. Who can blame her? The cartoon magnifying glass showed her it was so.

"Wow!" she says. "That's cleaning power!"