Brand: Dentyne Ice Gum (CadburyAdams)
Execution: TV, Online
Link: Click here
Target: Post-College Dateless Guys
This spot breaks today (2/28/06) on U.S. network television. An average-ish young guy offers a piece of gum to two different attractive women (one blond and one brunette, naturally) sitting beside him. They each respond suggestively. The voiceover is female and says, “Dentyne Ice straight up or New Dentyne Ice Wild Winter Soft Chew. Why not try both? Watch what happens next. Get Free Gum at Dentyne.com.” Ice-colored letters appear on top of the trio saying “Watch What Happens Next. Get Free Gum. Dentyne.com”
On the Dentyne.com website, the viewer can watch three alternate endings for the spot (we will not ruin the surprise by recapping).
There is an apocryphal story from the direct marketing world about a small direct marketing and promotions firm which had served its client well for a number of years. At some point this client grew to the point where it decided to invest in a branding campaign. The job had almost been awarded to a mainstream advertising agency when the direct marketing firm protested. ‘Let us produce a spot and test it against the ad agency’s spot’, they said, ‘Then decide where to spend your money.’ So both companies produced spots and surely enough, the direct marketing firm won handily despite a much smaller production budget. How? They put a gold seal with a special offer and a phone number in the corner of the ad – and increased recollection manyfold.
We are paraphrasing, of course (and feel free to drop the full details into a comment if you know them), but the point is simple – advertising which motivates an action can be more effective even if it is in other ways mundane.
What makes this spot effective is exactly this – the singleminded pursuit of driving the consumer to a website where a sampling opportunity can be created. The trick of showing three different endings to a suggestive commercial is a good one for this audience (roughly the same male target as Bud Light).
This advertising blog is a big fan of strong branding. This spot makes a strong attempt to reinforce the Dentyne Ice brand in this execution. The brand name and product visuals are shown and repeated from the first moment of the spot to the end.
In truth, this spot would fail were it not for the ingenious device of the three alternate endings and the sampling tie-in. Why? Without this unique twist, the situation is both too generic and too visually strong to leave the viewer with much memory of the brand. The 20-something male viewer is fixated on the two attractive woman, wondering what might happen to this young guy sandwiched between them. That does not leave much space in the average male brain for a brand name. There is also nothing else particularly ownable or unique about this spot. One could picture an Axe spot similarly starting with a guy sitting down between two attractive women. Being able to equally visualize a given execution in the hands of several different brands is a good indication that the execution is not ownable. In this case, it is only the new and unique trick of multiple endings and the ‘closer’ of sampling (and capturing a database of users) that makes the spot work so well.
Branding Bottom Line:
Dentyne breaks new ground. We wait to see what happens next.