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And so, in the spirit of holiday optimism, we close 2005's Rate the Ad with that (usually) tried-and-true success formula, the hottie — as seen in The New York Times Magazine, hence the vaguely newsprinty texture of the background when the ad is enlarged. Rate it on the Rate the Ad-o-mometer's six-degree scale of excellence, with 5 being the top score: 5 World-changing, 4 Great, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Forgettable, 0 Actively Annoying. And feel free to comment on the art direction, the photography, the copy, the typography, the hottie, the product, whatever. Back in two weeks with the results. Click the ad to play.

Dental Illness
Dental Illness
Last week's Rate the Ad. Stretch Armstrong. That's all we got, Stretch Armstrong, with an occasional Fantastic Four or Inspector Gadget comment for variety, and a few snide references to American Idol. No one could get past this guy's freako arm. There was also some trouble with what was usually termed his "orgasmic" facial expression. Oh, there were other things, mostly vibrator jokes, which sometimes tied in with his "orgasmic" facial expression. Special Wit of the Week Award to the guy who made the Anal-B joke. All told, the result is a very dingy Good/Bad Ratio on the Rate the Ad-o-mometer of 20/80 — comparing the top tiers of the scale to the bottom tiers. There also wasn't much enthusiasm for the product; that whole "on-board computer" idea went over like an impacted wisdom tooth. Anyway, here are the results.

5 World-changing 1%
4 Great 5%
3 Good 14%
2 Fair 19%
1 Forgettable 31%
0 Actively Annoying 30%

And here are some of our fave responses.

0 The guy looks like he's relieving himself. This looks like something my boss would do.

3 This ad works because it gets to the point, displays the product features well and makes it easy for your eye to follow the "Triumph over ordinary brushing."

2 The expression of the model fits more on the face of an Olympic Gold medal winner.

0 Technology is aiming to get into all human cavities. I'm getting worried.

2 Good imagery. As far as the product goes, though, call me old-fashioned but I don't think consumer electronics belongs in one's mouth.

1 NOT a triumph over ordinary advertising. Plus, I hate a nagging toothbrush. "Brush longer" ... "Change the brushhead"... nag, nag, nag.

3 Nice, clean presentation. I'm not as excited for the headline as the talent is for the product, but it works for me nonetheless.

0 Oh, my God, I can't take the wimpy, fake-foreshortened Photoshopped arm and the overzealous Outer Glow.

2 Why did the art director spend so much time playing with the Outer Glow effect without bothering to apply the same effect to the guy's teeth?

0 "Introducing a higher level of clean"? Leni Riefenstahl would be proud.

0 Finally, just what everyone wants for Christmas: A toothbrush as big as your arm!

4 It's empowering and proud. The brush design looks cool and modern and the computer screen is amazing. I want to try it!

2 Does a clock-counter really constitute a "computer" these days?

1 I was already annoyed before I enlarged the ad — the look on that guy's face is just plain stupid.

1 I HATE centered copy that's off-center, and running it over the dude's arm just makes me angrier.

0 If you need a computer to brush your teeth, you need to stay chained to the radiator. What's next, downloads from Crest?

4 I just went out and bought the damned thing, so I guess the ad worked.

2 It doesn't push the brush's benefit. He could be holding a toilet brush with the same copy.

0 Illustrations don't represent technology very well. Try again.