3D What-Now?

Seems to be the week that I notice poor brand messaging in advertisements. Crest has a line of products on the market called 3D White – which contains everything from toothpaste to mouthwash to disposable whitening strips. I’m sure that they all work just fine…. but the brand messaging is simply godawful.

First- the name. 3D? So, if I use this product… my teeth will magically become three dimensional? I hate to break out to you P&G, but they already are. Thanks to my parents. I came out with three dimensional teeth. Perhaps the ‘3D’ stands for something else. If so, it’s not clear exactly what that is in any of the magazine, television, or online ads that I’ve seen for the product line.

Second- the TV advert that I saw last night featured a ‘photographer’ telling the audience (in this case, me and anyone else watching I Love You, Man on Showcase) that the most important thing to ensure a good picture is a white smile. Except that it wasn’t a photographer, there was a nice big disclaimer at the bottom of the screen that read ‘Actress, not a real photographer.’

So, not only are you feeding us misinformation (a white smile is certainly not the most important thing in taking a good portrait- composition and lighting are)… but you’re doing it with a fake ‘expert’ and TELLING us that the ‘expert’ is a fake? Sure, there’s such a thing as creative license in advertising… when you’re telling a story or narrative, and want to do it in a clever way (while ensuring that the audience knows you’re telling a story).

Reminds me of a rather colourful phrase I once overheard.

Sure, I’m screwing you. But at least I have the common decency to do it from the front.


Disclosure: at time of writing, I did not own an equity position in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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