Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but this one serves a double purpose. The photo refers, obviously, to one of the ways in which people can stain their teeth. Having been stuck into this guy’s ear, though, the cigar also symbolizes the ludicrous lengths to which people go to indulge their vanity aboutphysical appearance. And that brings us to one of the oddities of the personal-care category: People want to look good; they don’t want to be seen struggling to look good. Since he smokes through his ear, the guy in the photo presumably has unstained teeth. So why isn’t he smiling? Because we’ve caught him in the act of doing something elaborate to keep that smile pristine. Supersmile is pricy ($16 a tube!), but it doesn’t ask you to do anything more complicated than brush your teeth. Thus, potential customers will feel they can improve their appearance without looking or feeling silly in the process. Another ad in the campaign shows a womaningesting a slice of blueberry pie through an IV drip—probably more gruesome an image than we care to see in a toothpaste ad.
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