Tide Pods ‘Spot the Risks’ Commercial

Tide educates parents how to avoid the poisoning danger to young children posed by single-dose laundry packs, including Tide Pods, which can be mistaken for colorful, bite-sized candy.


Can you spot the risks the baby can get to in 5 seconds?


Did you find all eleven?

  1. Uncovered Outlet
  2. Window Blind Cord
  3. Unsecured TV
  4. Fireplace
  5. Handbag Contents
  6. Sharp Edges
  7. Coins
  8. Balloon
  9. Unattended Iron
  10. Leaning Mirror
  11. Laundry Packs

Always keep laundry packs away from children. 

  1. Keep them up.
  2. Keep them closed.
  3. Keep them safe.

A message from Tide.

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Tide Pods:  Pre-Launch

The Procter & Gamble Fabric Care team sought to “reinvent the way people do laundry” by producing a dissolvable pod that blends detergent, brightener and stain fighter into a pre-measured, unit-dose package.  The pack eliminates spilling associated with liquid and powder detergents.

Business Insider reported that P&G “spent eight years perfecting the product, pouring hundreds of millions of dollars in and devoting 75 researchers to it full-time.”  

According to the Fabric Care Design Team: “The breakthrough and the beauty of the pod and packaging required us to do it justice with beautiful print, TV and digital… In research, people could not stop smiling and engaging with the product.”

The introduction of Tide Pods was teased with a groovy, pop-art ad style, emphasizing the color of the Pods:

Tide Pods:  Launch

As shown in this Tide Pods Case Study, the 2012 launch featured the theme: Pop In. Stand Out.

Tide Pods:  Bad Press

Imagine that you launched a new product expected to earn $500 million in revenue in its first year; but then, evidence emerged that misuse of your product was leading to children getting poisoned?

In fact, news reports started covering accidents associated with laundry packs.  ABC News reported: “A big warning about a new laundry detergent that can be very harmful to your kids. Small colorful packets, as seen there, of highly concentrated soap look like candy. They just hit the market, but kids are already eating them and getting terribly sick…  Between the bright colors and bite-size packaging, many parents say it’s easy to see why, to kids, these new packets of laundry detergent could look like candy and the container they come in (looks) like a candy jar.” 

Tide Pods:  Defensive Cause Marketing

The Tide Pods Spot the Risks commercial acknowledges that laundry packs pose a danger to children. That danger is presented in-context — and last on a list of 11 common household hazards — subtly sending the message that use of laundry packs is among the common in-home risks that parents willingly accept, such as window blind cords, balloons, and coins.

An ad presented as “A child safety message from Tide” compares the risks of Tide Pods to the dangers posed by “everyday items” such as open pill boxes and loose screws:

In another Cause Marketing commercial, Tide points out that: “Kids discover the world with their mouths. Keep laundry packs out-of-reach and away from children.”

Tide Pod Packaging:

To reduce the risk of poisoning children, Tide introduced packaging with double-latched closures.

Notice that the new packaging allows Tide Pods to be repositioned as a champion of child safety:  “Tide Pods now come in a Child-Guard Pack to help keep your laundry packs safe and your child safer.”

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