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Ad Lib blog

Creative critiques of pharma and healthcare ads and campaigns

Ads with bite

Jaw-dropping ads from around the world

Do you think there is still a marked difference between UK advertisements and those from other parts of the world? With global branding being so common these days, are we likely to see the same visuals and messages as we travel from one continent to the next? Is consistent global branding as achievable in healthcare as it is for – say – a mobile phone network or a soft drinks giant?

I recently examined some healthcare campaigns from around the world and decided to drill down into a few that focused on dental health messages. I was left wondering if they'd be as likely to be displayed in Bracknell as they would in Bratislava, or whether the British are more squeamish than our international counterparts. Whatever the case, I can say with some degree of certainty that all of these ads work: I couldn't finish writing this article without dashing off to floss and brush my teeth at least once. 

So without further ado, let's sit these ads down in the chair, ask them to open wide and say…


Ads with bite #1



Ads with bite 1

Don’t let food stay too long
Pepsodent Torsion
Lowe, Indonesia

I have to give a lot of credit for the split-second during which I had to work out what was going on in this visual. If the viewer gains a little degree of reward through having to think about the ad, then it is already successful from a memorability perspective: I am far more likely to remember a fossilised chicken than I am to remember a generic toothbrush or toothpaste ad with a big white smile. In terms of branding, however, how many toothpaste manufacturers want to be associated with something repulsive when all their competitors are taking said clean and fresh route?

Ads with bite #2



Ads with bite 2

Take care of your teeth before they take care of your heart
Jandl, Slovakia

I have mixed feelings about this one, perhaps because I have worked on, and seen, a lot of concepts where one thing (or things) has been used to form the shape of another thing. That’s not to say that it’s not a big idea, it’s just I feel like I’ve seen it an awful lot. The link between oral health and heart health, however, is an important message and a very topical one. So I like the immediacy with which this ad gets this across.

Ads with bite #3



Ads with bite 3

International Flight Mouth
Oral B
Beacon (Leo Burnett), Japan

Clever use of ‘what’s already there’ in our everyday environment to display advertising messages always makes me smile. And I know I’m not alone: wherever you have a captive audience in a mundane situation – in this case waiting to collect baggage at an airport – and you surprise them with something novel and unexpected, you can actually make the tedious more enjoyable. The best part about this is the way the conveyor belt moves. Where you see perfect white teeth at first, as they round a bend you see the plaque between the teeth revealed that often goes unnoticed and unaddressed. Hopefully you wouldn’t miss your luggage whilst you scanned the QR code… All in all a triumphant big idea.

Article by
Sophie Johnson

Founder of Big Eye Dear

7th November 2013

From: Marketing



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