I’ve always been a fan of TV commercials. Many people find them an irritant to be avoided, but I’ve always understood that advertising is not only important to the companies involved, but also pay for many of the things I love, that otherwise I would have to pay for such services, such as TV and most of the Internet.
Advertising also gives us a time-line in many photohgraphs. Billboards and such are often not only in the background, but sometimes even the content. Andy Warhol is famous for his cans of soup. A brand we recognize as the soup of America. I can’t even think of another brand of soup… although I do have a jingle for Habitat Pea Soup… but I don’t know what the real name is. In my head, it’s French “abby-taunt” Peas soup.
In any case, the main reason I started writing this blog while watching the a TV show was because of a commercial I watched just now for Crest toothpaste. I have followed toothpaste commercials as a subset of my obsessive interest in commercials. Although I have no real education, life experience has taught me a few basics about Canadian law and commercials, but toothpaste is one of the ones I’ve mostly often noticed subtleties of law. Over the years, slight changes in the wording.
As with most medicinal advertising, there are things they are allowed to say and not. You may notice many commercials don’t use the term doctors directly, or show actors being doctors. They more often show regular people talking about their doctor. Lines like; My Doctor Recommended instead of “I recommend” spoken from an actual white coat.
I did some work for a company that specialized in changing existing commercials as complaints came in, and ever since I’ve had great joy in spotting one. A commercials that airs one way and then mysteriously airs at a later date with an offincive word or phrase removed.
One such example I noticed recently was the change in a toothbrush commercial that originally aired with the actress stating her dentist had told her that electric toothbrushes were good, but they’re not all the same. It seemed like a safe enough distance from an actual doctor’s recomendation. The next line about looking for one that had a round head, wasn’t a direct quote, but the more recent versions now claim the referral came from her dental hygenist, which os course is still a trained position of authority, but not a licensed one. I suspect nobody watching the new version of the commercial would bother to write a letter asking; “Oh yeah – which hygienists exactly?” It certainly is possible that letter writers might actually request proof of the names of the 4 out of 5 doctors otherwise. I suppose I should be happy there are nitpick ears out there looking out for truth in advertsising.
In today’s Crest commercials I witnessed a whole slew of changes from the days of old. The entire commercial made almost no claims at all that were not spoken as hearsay. In fact, all the actors in it spoke of how the toothpaste made them “feel like it was better”. They even states they used to feel all toothpastes were the same, but this one made them feel like it was working. I almost laughed.
The actors would not even say they’d switch, but they’d look at Crest the next time they shopped. In the commercial they wouldn’t even commit to change. No 4 out 5 doctors agreed, and all the technical reasons why it was better were replaced with the “feeling of having cleaner teeth” was the main push.
I’m surprised people didn’t admit they trust crest because it’s on TV and seems to be the leader, or said things like; “I never liked the logo of Colgate”. (I never did).
When the leader in any market advertuises, I suppose it’s to keep their brand in the minds of people more than anything else. Certainly Coca Cola wouldn’t need to advertise at all to stay substantially ahead of Pepsi, but eventually people wouldn’t might start trying other brands if they didn’t “feel” they were buying the best.
I know Avis became famous by advertising second place always had to try harder, but I think Second Place brands like Pepsi and Burger King always secretly hope they can catch up if First Place does something stupid, which is true in today’s world more than ever before. I hear H&M lost a fair market share just because somebody tweeted that a black child wearing a T Shirt about a monkey caused such Internet traffic. I often wonder if lawsuits and scandals are started by competitors.
I’ll be watching toothpaste commercials as I always do, because after all – they’re all basically the same anyway. Both toothpaste and tooth brushes are a masterpiece of marketing. In truth, neither has needed change since their beginning but if brand A has something new, then Brandon B has to compete and update, else they swap status positions. I remember my dentist actually telling me toothpaste wasn’t really important anyway, and that the brushing was enough. I guess he must have been the fifth out of 4 surveyed. Toothpaste seems logical, as much of the world has a love affair with soap brands for health, and nobody can deny, toothpaste certainly make you “feel” like you’ve cleaned your teeth. My cousin’s mother’s hairdresser recommended this new toothbrush.
Don’t even get me started on the controversial scam that Listerene started by inventing a whole industry based on gingivitis, which I hear rumors of, wasn’t even a thing before they needed to sell their mouthwash to a world that didn’t need it.
Reference: Adam Hates Everything; Mouthwash