Trident Eyes Moms With Cavity-Fighting Gum

Trident this week debuted a series of new spots that show kids doing all sorts of mischievous things, but fighting cavities in the process as they chew Trident gum.
The ads, part of a new campaign by JWT, New York, also carry a new tagline, “Smile on.” In one spot, a little girl pops a piece of Trident gum in her mouth, while putting makeup on her younger brother. When mom comes in the room and asks what she is doing, the girl replies: “Fighting cavities.” A voiceover concludes the spot, saying: “Whatever they’re doing, when kids are chewing Trident, at least they’re helping fight cavities.”
The effort is meant to promote Trident’s base gum business, said Maurice Herrera, marketing director for the gum brand, which is now owned by Kraft Foods. (The food giant acquired Trident’s parent company, Cadbury, last year.)
Though Trident has talked about cavity prevention in the past, this is the first time it’s targeting the message to moms and kids, since cavity protection is of high importance for this group, Herrerra said. “We know the majority of consumers who enter the [sugarless chewing gum] category do so by age five,” he said.
Separately, Trident has a partnership running with Smiles Across America, an organization that connects local governments and companies with dental providers and schools, to help provide affordable dental care to families with children in need.
Trident’s campaign comes at a time when the sugarless chewing gum category is on the rise. From 2008 to 2009, the gum market grew 6 percent, reaching $1.37 billion, per market research firm Mintel. Much of that growth came from sugarless gum brands, which account for 91 percent of the market. Those brands grew 7.7 percent during that same time period.
Marcia Mogelonsky, a global food and beverage analyst who tracks the gum category at Mintel, said Trident is promoting an affordable way to fight cavities in an environment where consumers are keeping a close check on their finances. Citing a recent spike in consumer goods lawsuits, Mogelonsky, however, said that Trident must be able to back up its claims. Gum rival Wrigley, for example, last year came under fire for claiming that its Eclipse gum can kill germs that cause bad breath. (That lawsuit was settled this month. The company agreed to pay as much as $7 million and change Eclipse advertising.)
Trident spent $34.4 million on measured media in 2009, and $5.6 million through March of this year, excluding online and cable, per the Nielsen Co.