Every mouthwash ad you've ever seen looks basically the same. We needed a way for ACT to stand out in a sea of swishes in order to let people know that we're the best way to keep your teeth stronger for longer. And what better way to disrupt the category, than to feature some of the worst teeth you'll ever see in an oral care ad.
Our goal was to persuade our target to make ACT Fluoride Mouthwash an important part of their dental routine. We found our idea by looking into the past:
We discovered that throughout history, our ancestors utilized some pretty unusual ways to cure tooth decay. Treatments that were as strange as they were inept. Like the medieval practice of kissing a donkey or the ancient remedy of tying a frog under your jaw. By shining a light on some of the most ill-advised dental remedies of yore, we found a powerful way to stand out in a sea of swishes.
Aside from getting client approval on this offbeat creative, our biggest challenge was that the ambition of our scripts was higher than our production dollars.
So with two unique periods in history at the center of the campaign, we scoured the Earth for the absolute perfect location to recreate both medieval Germany and ancient Rome, on a one-day shoot. Thankfully we found it in an old hacienda in the outskirts of Mexico City, with authentic looking backdrops for our seriously funny local cast to play up the absurdity of the archaic treatments.
Then, we had some selling to do, too. So with a seamless jump to the present, we could proclaim the teeth-strengthening power of ACT, as we launched their bold new rallying cry— Long Live Your Teeth!
In the end, ACT did justice to this strange-but-true chapter in human history.
The donkey gave a performance for the ages, and received 17 smooches. No frogs were hurt in the making of this film (it was a prop). But more importantly, the campaign exceeded expectations with a 116% increase in website engagement, 32% more search traffic, and a 14% boost in sales.
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