Crest Ads: All the World’s a Smile

D’Arcy Campaign Repositions Toothpaste as Brand for ‘Real’ People
NEW YORK–Procter & Gamble is hoping to give consumers something to smile about in a new ad campaign for Crest toothpaste.
The estimated $45 million national TV and print campaign, which breaks today, positions the product as being for “real people with genuine smiles,” said Graham Woodall, executive creative director at D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in New York.
One spot, called, “Faces,” shows shots of ordinary-looking folks, of various ethnicities, breaking into broad smiles that reveal healthy-looking, but slightly imperfect teeth.
“Inside each of us is a beautiful smile just waiting to burst out,” a male voiceover says. “Because Crest has extra whitening. The first toothpaste ADA [American Dental Association] accepted for whitening by polishing away surface stains. So you can have a smile you want the world to see.” The new tagline is “Open up and smile.” The idea behind the prior tagline, “Behind that healthy smile, there’s a Crest kid,” was that adults with healthy, winning smiles began using Crest as children.
Woodall said creative teams from D’Arcy’s offices in Poland, China, Europe and Latin America contributed photos of people smiling in stories in local publications to use as inspiration. The campaign is also set to run in overseas markets, possibly breaking in May. One original idea was “with a great smile, you can connect with other people more easily.” That concept evolved after research showed that people responded to smiles that seemed genuine, as opposed to the “dentist-office Hollywood smile,” Woodall said.
“The ability to release the emotion that accompanies a smile, without trying to hide it, was a commonality that appealed to consumers around the world,” he added. Print ads run in May’s Allure, Cosmopolitan, Self and other magazines.
The client could not be reached for comment. Crest is trying to put the squeeze on rival Colgate, which had higher 1999 sales than Crest: $470 million compared to $443 million, according to Information Resources. K