Crest gives 86-year-old her wish with starring role in ad
As wishes go, Bertha Nunn’s was modest. The 86-year-old retired corrections officer and teacher’s assistant always wanted to be an actress–in commercials, not film or TV. Thanks to Procter & Gamble Co.’s Crest, she’s getting that wish for Christmas.
Crest discovered Nunn via the non-profit group Wish of a Lifetime, which grants wishes for seniors. Publicis then cast Nunn in a spot alongside Santa that will break Dec. 10 during NCIS on CBS, her favorite TV show.
“We were getting ready to shoot our holiday work, and what better time to grant a wish than during the holiday season” says Carlos De Jesus, vice president of North America Oral Care for P&G. “The team fell in love with Bertha.”
Crest isn’t an obvious holiday advertiser, but gifting does drive up toothbrush sales seasonally. “We also believe we’re an iconic brand for families, so one of the things we want to do is unleash more smiles for families,” De Jesus says.
The commercial also aims to “elevate the role of oral care in our lives,” De Jesus says, which the U.S. could actually use right now. For the first time since Crest was founded more than 60 years ago to fight cavities, he says, “This is the first decade in America when cavities are actually increasing.”
That owes to several factors, including a third of Americans being uninsured, fluoride use declining in products and public water systems, and “the diet of America not being in a good place,” he says. Crest plans to step up partnership efforts to fight cavities in the year ahead.