16 Mar

Bene: All hail Italian creativity

In the UK market, how many toothpaste brands can you name?

At most, I can recall four; Colgate, Aquafresh, Macleans, Sensodyne.

And (not that I’m suggesting you’re always on the lookout for this) when was the last time you saw a memorable ad campaign for any toothpaste brand that made you actually give a toss about the product, rather than simply picking the same old brand from the supermarket shelf?

Think about it:
Aquafresh – to my mind – haven’t produced anything beyond the animated family brushing their teeth together.
Colgate produce dull-as-ditchwater ads, literally demonstrating their product in shopping centres: essentially experiential marketing on TV (with unforgivably wooden acting).
I have no idea what Macleans or Sensodyne do or have done recently.
Oh, and then there’s Corsodyl (admittedly a mouthwash, not a toothpaste), who simply threaten consumers: ‘use our product or lose your teeth.’

So, not much competition for creativity in this arena.

Until… in strolls Blanx White Shock whitening toothpaste, with this beauty:

It’s brilliant. It caught me completely off guard: I genuinely laughed when I matched up the Italian to the subtitles, and saw the same unfazed reaction each time.
And that’s, in part, where the humour comes from: the ad relies, knowingly, on that wonderful pause – when watching a foreign film – between the words leaving the actor’s mouth and the subtitle appearing at the bottom of the screen.
In essence, it’s a fantastically self-aware send-up. Smart.

The humour, aside from the subtitles themselves, also comes from the wonderful way in which they’ve hyperbolised the product benefit: ‘this toothpaste gives you dazzling, white teeth …. so you’ll want to show off your smile no matter how grim the situation’
And because it’s funny, it manages to squeeze in the relevant messaging – about how the toothpaste works – effortlessly, in a way that doesn’t bore the audience.

It’s creative, it’s funny, it’s effective, it’s message is clear and simple: it works. I can’t think of a single box it doesn’t tick.
Oh, and it knocks ten bells out of the boring, literal, me-too cr*p around it, in the same sector.

Blighty, you have a lot to answer for: Italian creativity has just kicked you off the park in the world of toothpaste.

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