When you were a kid, did your parents scare you into thinking that you could get pregnant from kissing a boy (or a girl, depending on your preference)? Well, it seems there’s an art director and copywriter over at McCann Erickson that heard this when they were growing up…and they’ve channeled it into their latest commercial for Dentyne gum.
The commercial includes three vignettes with 20-something guys.
In the first scene, a guy and girl are about to make out in the back seat of a car. But as he’s coming in for the kiss, she stops him and says, “Wait…you have something, right?” The guy pulls out a pack of Dentyne.
In the second scene, a guy shopping at a drugstore nervously takes a package to the cashier…who smiles at him knowingly. What’s the package? Why, a pack of Dentyne, of course.
In the final scene, a guy (who is on a date with a girl) knocks on his sleeping roommate’s door to ask, “Can you help me out?” The drowsy roommate pulls open the drawer to his nightstand…and throws his roommate a pack of Dentyne.
After the three scenes unfold, the voiceover tells us that Dentyne has “icy cool intensity. So you’re prepared no matter how close you get.”
The campaign’s tagline? “Practice safe breath.”
This is obviously McCann’s attempt at making Dentyne more appealing to the younger market. Kids like gum…and sex. So why not put the two together, right?
This campaign has been met with criticism by some folks who think the commercial pokes fun at the awkwardness of practicing safe sex. Kids might see it and think that safe sex is awkward, so why not just throw caution to the wind. I can’t say that I agree. I dislike the commercial, but for a different reason. It’s cheesy as heck. And cheesy isn’t cool.