Maya Rudolph Riffs on the Horrors of Non-Natural Soaps in Fun Ads for Seventh Generation

72andSunny's first work for the brand's main imprint

Laser-beam blue and spray-tan orange.

Those are the scary shades of common household cleaning products that make Maya Rudolph uncomfortable, as she describes them in a new campaign for Seventh Generation.

The actress and comic—an alum of Saturday Night Live and movies like Idiocracy, Bridesmaids and Sisters—stars in three ads for the environmentally friendly packaged goods marketer. It's the first work for the master brand from 72andSunny's New York office. 

In "Weird Dyes," Rudolph laments the Day-Glo nature of conventional soaps—including one she describes as "Yippee ki-yay yellow," a moment that can't help but evoke Die Hard (though John McClane's filthy tanktop is nowhere to be seen, even if it could serve as a fitting product demo). 

In "Common Scents," she takes aim at the fake smells that grace the labels of the same products, indicting fantastical offenders like "Fiji Funk," "Cabo Clean" and "Siberian Sunbeam" (because nothing says warm and welcoming like the tundra). 

And in "Not Blue Goo," she sets her sights on traditional laundry detergents, dinging them for distorting the colors of the clothes they're meant to clean. (Competitors would likely counter that the effect is actually meant to counteract natural yellowing, and is therefore desirable—but that's for the chemists to duke out.) 

Overall, Rudolph—a mother of four and an actual user of Seventh Generation products, according to the company—is a reasonable fit for the strategy. Highlighting the impossible, industrial colors of less natural soaps is a relatively clean and clear way to emphasize Seventh Generation's core proposition.

She gets that point across well enough, even if the moments she has to play her delivery straight feel the most contrived, and the least entertaining—as if the copy might be trying a bit too hard to charm viewers. 

By contrast, the ads work best when Rudolph's oddball side shines through, with her left-field kickers clocking in as the best parts. Take the brilliantly creepy "Clear as an angel's giggle" punch line in "Weird Dyes." Or the moment when she throws her voice while dangling a T-shirt with her own face on it at the end of a 15-second cut of "Not Blue Goo." It's one of the more entertaining attempts to play up a campaign hashtag ever (even if the :30 sadly takes it in a different direction).

All in all, it's a solid showing, building on 72andSunny's strong send-up of millennial advertising for Seventh Generation's reusable water bottle brand, Bobble, last fall.

It's probably worth noting, though, that brightly hued soaps are nowhere near as disconcerting as the sports drinks that also look like window cleaning fluid—even if Gatorade is what plants crave.


Client: Seventh Generation, Inc

General Manager & Chief Marketing Officer: Joey Bergstein

Senior Brand Manager: Julian Blazewicz

Agency: 72andSunny New York

Managing Director: James Townsend

Executive Creative Director: Guillermo Vega

Director of Production: Lora Schulson

Director of Strategy: Tim Jones

Creative Director/Designer: Wei Wei Dong

Creative Director/Writer: Matthew Carey

Designer: Rob McQueen

Writer: Matt Vitou

Executive Producer: Kerli Teo

Sr. Producer: Ryan Chong

Strategy Director: Marshall Ball

Sr. Strategist: Jennifer Lewis

Strategist: Carol Chan

Group Brand Director: Marianne Pizzi

Co-Brand Directors: Brittni Hutchins & Lauren Smith

Brand Manager: Jonathan Weiss

Interactive Producer: Vishal Dheiman

Jr. Art Producer: Brigitte Bishop

Business Affairs Director: Julie Balster

Business Affairs Manager: Marissa Burnett

Jr. Business Affairs Manager: Laura Fraser

Production Company: Pretty Bird

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