Brand: Dentyne Ice Gum
Link: Click Here
Target: Boys on the Prowl
After a couple of hopeful reviews last week, this week’s ThirdWay Ad Blog will feature wasted money and blown opportunities.
In this spot, two friends enter a bar and catch the eye of a beautiful woman. The cocky friend asks the other to give him a piece of Dentyne Ice whereupon his friend takes a piece himself, breathes on the cocky friend and turns him into a human icicle. As he is chatting up the girl, his friend says “Dude – That’s Cold” through frozen lips. The narrator announces “New flavor-charged Dentyne Ice gives you a shot of icy cold breath … share it with a friend”.
Here is what works in this spot:
- It’s funny – in a ‘ha-ha’ kind of way
- Good Brand Recognition – the packaging gets very good face time in this spot, so we’re not left wondering what the brand is until the end.
- It has an attitude – It is perilously close to the Smirnoff “Yuri” ads, but at least doesn’t look like normal advertising for gum.
Advertisers should always ask the basic question “Is this really news?” when they decide to invest millions of dollars in television advertising behind the launch of a line extension. In truth, it is not completely clear that this is a line extension – it may just be a new SKU as it is simply a new flavor variation for the venerable gum brand. Dentyne has a lot of years behind fresh breath, so in spite of the attitude, this spot is not breaking any new ground – at least not in a positive sense.
In fact, there is a troubling harbinger of worse advertising to come in this ad. Ask yourself – what is the brand positioning strategy for Dentyne Ice? It must revolve around the tagline “share it with a friend.” Obviously, the emphasis is on ‘make a friend’ rather than ‘keep a friend.’ But the spot may go too far in this direction for the sake of an edgy execution. It’s nice that Dentyne Ice gives you the power to meet the girl and freeze out your overbearing friend. But at some level, don’t we also identify with the friend betrayed for the girl? The best line in the spot is ‘Dude – That’s Cold,’ and the first part of the double entendre is that it is a cold thing to do to a friend. Which undermines the concept of sharing.
The agency will probably tell you that the spot is precisely intended to tread this line – to assert individualism while increasing sociability. But the most memorable image is of the frozen friend, not the new girl. Remembering that gum positioned against fresh breath is all about sociability, this creates a basic problem for this spot.
This ad may signal more bad advertising to come because it is a troubling injection of off-strategy, beer-style advertising into the category. When ads start to get driven by the cuteness of the executional idea and not the strategy, there is trouble ahead.
Branding Bottom Line -
Money not well spent.