JWT’s Trident Smiles in Print, Not TV

NEW YORK J. Walter Thompson’s new print campaign for Trident White’s Cool Rush gum reveals people by their gleaming white smiles.

Three print ads by the New York shop show people who would rather remain hidden—a man under a woman’s bed as her husband enters the room, a jewelry thief and a peeping Tom—but their smiles give them away. Copy reads: “A whiter smile gets you noticed. Even if you don’t want to be.”

JWT art director Adam Pierno and copywriter Chris Baier created the work. The team was working on TV storyboards with a similar concept. Their mission was to introduce the flavor to teens and twentysomethings.

“We had the idea for the really graphic look,” said Pierno. “The TV didn’t work that well, but we decided it would be worth checking out to see what it would look like in print.”

Pierno, who is also an illustrator, created four mock-up ads on Adobe Illustrator. He estimates each piece took about 40 hours. First he sketched the drawing, scanned it into a computer and added multiple layers. “I wanted the comps to look good, to see if people would bite,” he said.

The creatives posted the print mock-ups on their office wall, but never presented the work. Executive creative director Jeff Watzman saw the work, however, and presented it to the client. Trident approved the print ads in lieu of the TV spots, which were never created.

“The client said we’ll do it, as long as this is exactly the ad,” Pierno said. “They made very few changes.”

The work is running in the June and July issues of Teen People, Maxim, Glamour, Seventeen, Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly.

Campaign spending is undisclosed. Cadbury Schweppes spent $5-10 million advertising its Trident sugarless gum in 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.