Jason Alexander—best known as Seinfeld‘s George Costanza—will be the literal face of one of the most popular Super Bowl advertisers, Tide, this year, and his commercial was recently released online.
Procter & Gamble Co’s tide of postmodern Super Bowl advertising began in 2017. The company ran two commercials, one featuring Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and actor Jeffrey Tambor, and the other featuring Terry Bradshaw. Bradshaw had appeared on live television earlier that night with a stain on his shirt—the stain later addressed in an advertisement, as if the ad was occurring in between live takes.
In 2018, Tide enlisted David Harbour and featured a series of ads imitating other Super Bowl ads, disguising a Tide product placement. “It’s a Tide Ad” became the top non-movie advertiser twitter trend by the third quarter, incepting the idea in every viewer’s head that every advertisement could, potentially, be a Tide ad. Therefore, every advertiser inadvertently and subconsciously began advertising Tide—whether or not they actually were.
The Tide ad spot has since become a Super Bowl staple. Last year, the advertisements featured Charlie Day. This year it will be Jason Alexander—though, mostly just his face, animated onto a teenager’s hoodie. (Tide told Men’s Health there would be only one Super Bowl advertisement with Alexander, with other online-only content. But who knows what else Tide has planned. Here’s hoping for that hoodie to hit Amazon soon.)
While it’s obviously a ploy for detergent sales, the ad also broaches challenges to celebrity likeness usage in an age of deep fakes and CGI resurrection. Or as Alexander pointedly remarks from inside his vehicle: “GIVE ME BACK MY FACE!”
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