In it, Fred Hammond, the fictional director of digital video and social media ad integration for Tide, goes on at length about how great his new viral video is.
“It’s just so funny!” Hammond says. “But not just funny—cool, too. If you like things that are funny and cool, you should definitely watch this clip from Tide. I guarantee it’s right up your alley!”
In a clever nod to The Onion’s satire, Tide made the video described in the article a reality right around 48 hours after the website posted the fake op-ed piece. The move even got some Onion employees talking.
The Onion’s writers could have written the fake op-ed piece about any big brand trying to drum up buzz via social media. Odds are they picked Tide at random. Sarah Pasquinucci, external relations representative for Procter & Gamble’s fabric care brands (including Tide), says the company got the joke instantly.