A Smile Gets You Out of Awkward Situations in Delta Dental’s Campaign

Digitas debuts its first work for the insurance provider

delta dental insurance company smile ad digitas
Digitas takes a humorous approach to remind viewers to take care of their teeth. YouTube: Delta Dental
Headshot of Minda Smiley

What’s in a smile? For many, vanity trumps all when it comes to investing in those pearly whites, while others see a trip to the dentist’s office only as a necessary evil.

Regardless of why you’re going, a regular dental appointment results in healthier teeth. So in its first campaign for insurance provider Delta Dental, Digitas is showing the many ways a picture-perfect smile can help you get ahead in life—or at least out of an uncomfortable situation.

In the two 30-second spots, familiar scenarios unfold: In one, a businessman trying to close a deal while working from home quickly becomes flustered when his uncle’s dance moves make an appearance in the background of a video conference call. But instead of losing his cool, he simply smiles and resumes the conversation. (No word on whether this guy was the inspiration for the spot.)

Another ad features a woman on vacation who bought one too many souvenirs, and is now faced with an overweight suitcase at the airport check-in counter. Rather than succumb to her fate, she offers up a charming grin to the airline employees and makes off with her overstuffed bag.

Michael Frease, executive creative director at Digitas, said the campaign is meant to add relevance and meaning to a product that often isn’t top of mind for consumers. By focusing on the act of smiling and how it can lead to positive change or impact the people around you in just a few seconds, he said the ads manage to inject some emotion into a category that is heavily reliant on “rational messaging” around plans and pricing.

“It was really [about] making dental insurance relevant,” Frease said. “I don’t think people think about it at all, and typically when they do think about it, it’s at the last minute when they’re reminded that they need to sign up.”

Considering dental insurance is often something that people secure through their employer, Frease said the campaign was created with various audiences in mind.

“This is a campaign that really kind of marries B2B and B2C,” Frease said, explaining that it targets not only employers who are responsible for choosing a dental plan, but also employees who may want “reassurance” that their company picked the right provider.

Additionally, it targets other demographics that may be in the market for dental insurance, such as retirees or self-employed individuals.

“We needed an idea that could span across all those targets,” Frease said.

The campaign is running across TV, radio, print, online and social platforms.

@Minda_Smiley minda.smiley@adweek.com Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.