Orbit Gum Gets Surprisingly Earnest in Aspirational ‘Time to Shine’ Ads by BBDO

Will a loftier message stick?

Here's a gum for people who feel they've bitten off more than they can chew.

Wrigley's Orbit is rolling out a new campaign tagged "Time to Shine," a shift from the brand's familiar "Just brushed clean feeling" to something more aspirational.

"The idea is that when you have a clean mouth or fresh breath, you feel more confident," John Starkey, regional vice president of marketing at Wrigley Americas, tells AdFreak. "The scripts are a celebration of what can happen when you feel ready to take on your 'Time to Shine' moment."

In the minute-long anthem spot below, we meet various gum chewers who feel unsure of themselves in the classroom, on sports fields, at weddings and elsewhere. British actor Noah Huntley provides the voiceover, though he doesn't talk and chew gum at the same time: 

Three BBDO offices—EnergyBBDO, CLM BBDO and BBDO South China—collaborated on the campaign. "It is more aspirational than you'd expect from a gum commercial," says Starkey. "We've shifted away from the things chewing Orbit helps you get rid of, like food or coffee, and instead are focusing on being ready for what comes next. And those moments can be very small or very big."

Such "moments," previewed in the anthem spot, are explored in a series of 15-second clips, each with a different hero or heroine. First up, a young soccer player gets her kicks: 

"The trickiest thing on set was capturing the right confident smiles," says EnergyBBDO creative chief Andrés Ordóñez. "It can be hard to show genuine emotion on demand without it seeming posed or overly manufactured, especially when it comes to smiling."

Next, a pint-sized basketball player rises to the occasion:

Lastly, we find love at first sight on a public bus. (Don't leave the gum beneath the seat.)

That last ad seems to channel a vibe from another Wrigley's brand, Extra Gum. And given the global success of "The Story of Sarah & Juan," we wondered if perhaps the Orbit team felt "extra" pressure to perform?

"For Extra, it's about the act of sharing and connection," says Starkey. "With Orbit, it's having the confidence to be ready for your moment." 

But how, exactly, does Orbit prepare you for said moment? Will you shoot better hoops with minty breath? Is that Steph Curry's big secret? 

The emotional approach works in Extra's long-form videos, largely because the gum is tangential to the storylines, which are riveting in their own right. Also, the clever use of wrappers is just so three-hanky sweet, it's tough to be overly critical. 

In Orbit's ads, however, the product is more front and center—the chewing faces are, at any rate—and for some viewers, this could make the aspirational message seem strained or downright silly.

The work is just earnest enough to be ripe for parody or ridicule, and we wish Anonymous Content director Joachim Back had leaned into the comedy a bit harder. Still, the concept obviously isn't meant to be taken too literally, and the gum-in-cheek tone is more successful than not.

CREDITS

Client: Wrigley, a Subsidiary of Mars Inc.

Agency: Energy BBDO & CLM BBDO & BBDO South China

Chief Creative Officer: Andrés Ordóñez

Executive Creative Director: Kevin Lynch

Creative Director: Pedro Pérez

Creative Director: Josh Gross

Creative Director: Jeff Cena

Creative Partner: Helen Sze

Associate Creative Director: Alejandro Peré

Associate Creative Director: Dan McCormack

Sr. Art Director: Jesús Diaz