While there is perhaps no such thing as a winning formula for Super Bowl spots, the marriage of animals and implied catastrophic testicular injury really ticks off two of TV ads’ most time-honored boxes. This 15-second clarification of why only four out of five dentists surveyed recommend chewing Trident marked the brand’s first foray into the big game.
At the time, Trident trailed sugar-free chewing gum rivals Extra and Eclipse in the hearts and minds of consumers; the Wrigley brands together boasted a 42% market share to Trident’s 15%. A month after “Squirrel” bowed, Trident parent Pfizer completed the sale of its confectionary division to Cadbury Schweppes, and the new owners forged ahead with the “Four Out of Five Dentists” campaign through 2005. (Later that same year, Harry Kornhauser, the adman who originated the “four out of five” claim, passed away at age 73. Kornhauser also ginned up the slogan for Black Flag’s Roach Motel, “Roaches check in, but they don’t check out.”)
“Squirrel” placed ninth on USA Today’s ad meter, and a year after the J. Walter Thompson spot aired, Trident sales were up 13%.
AGENCY: J. Walter Thompson
QUARTER AIRED: Q2