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By Published on .

Procter & Gamble Co. today breaks a $45 million ad campaign it hopes will right the listing Crest brand.

The campaign is from D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, challenged last fall by P&G to turn up the creative volume on the toothpaste brand. The agency responded by making changes on the creative team that included adding Exec VP-Executive Group Creative Director Graham Woodall, who had been with DMB&B in Hong Kong.


The result is "Crest Kids," a TV and print effort that marks something of a departure for P&G advertising. One print ad borrows-with permission-from the "Got milk?" campaign created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. The Crest ad asks, "Got teeth?"

The agency "broke the rules" with the new campaign, Mr. Woodall said. "It is totally different from anything done before for P&G."

The new creative is an umbrella effort that this month will focus on existing Crest brand extensions, such as Crest Tartar Control, but next month will expand to include new Crest MultiCare.

Designed to position Crest as "the Coca-Cola of toothpastes," Mr. Woodall said, the TV portion of the campaign hearkens back to Crest's classic "Look Mom, no cavities" advertising, which broke in 1957.

Two TV spots, running on network, cable and syndicated programming in all dayparts, focus on mothers and their kids, with the moms acting as role models for good oral hygiene and everyone flashing white, toothy smiles. The theme line is "Behind every smile, there's a Crest kid."


The newspaper component features Dr. Jack Miller, a dentist and race car driver, who since October has been touring schools with his car, preaching proper oral care and Crest. The brand has had a school education program in place for 35 years.

Such programs, in part, helped make Crest the leading toothpaste brand over the years, a position it still enjoys today.

But increased competition-and some miscalculated new-product moves, such as introducing Crest GumCare instead of a baking soda and peroxide entry-has left sales and share in a decline. For the 52 weeks ended Feb. 23, sales dropped 4.9% to $395.8 million, while Crest's share has declined from well over 30% earlier

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