Colgate is celebrating "those who smile above all the odds" in a new documentary-style content series that represents a more emotive approach for a brand often known for its straightforward product-based advertising.
Created by VML/Y&R France and Red Fuse Communications, the WPP group that services Colgate-Palmolive globally, the "Smile Stories" campaign initially consists of three films helmed by Drake Doremus, the Sundance Festival Grand Jury Prize-winning director of "Like Crazy." Doremus was also behind the camera for Intel/Toshiba and Pereira & O'Dell's Grand Prix-winning "Beauty Inside" campaign.
The campaign focuses on real-life stories: an art teacher tutoring struggling young people with special needs, a restaurant owner working alongside a chef with Down Syndrome, and the founder of the "Adopt-a Grandfather" program, aimed at helping older people, in Spain. The three 60-second stories will live on a digital hub, and more will roll out over the course of the coming year. There is also a 30-second cut-down running on TV in the U.K.
"With this campaign, we aim at championing and empowering courageous smiles: celebrating people who chose to smile and spread optimism around them, inspiring and empowering other people to do the same," said Laurent Cayet, director of integrated marketing communications, Colgate-Palmolive Europe, in a statement. "We want to show that courage and optimism are more contagious than fear.”
“We really wanted to spotlight the real doers—those people who not only face the tough realities of our times with optimism, but are actually doing something to bring more optimism to others,” added Dimitri Guerassimov, co-president and chief creative officer, VMLY&R France. “It’s a tribute to those who help build a future we can all smile about.”