Why didn’t they just name the leader Fluoride?

By Shawn Robare

I recently picked up a big run of Muppet Magazine and while flipping through the issues I was astounded by the number of awesome advertisements.  I figured I’d share some of them here and there, and this week I thought it would be fun to take a look at some toothpaste ads.

First up we have a couple of Crest ads from 1983 and 1984 respectively.  Though using the comic layout was nothing new for companies in the 80s (just take a gander at the huge Hostess comic ads archive here at Branded), I do think there was an upswing in the trend.  Unfortunately, even though it was kind of cool for Crest to develop the idea of a crack team of cavity fighting heroes, the end result was kind of weird and boring…

Whereas the Hostess comic ads were wonderfully wacky and over the top, these two Crest ads are totally weak.  From the context clues in the two comics, I’m guessing the Crest team’s home territory of Toothopolis is actually located in one of two places, either in little Chucky’s own mouth, or the shared space of every mouth in the known universe which coexist on a metaphysical plane (which is in turn called Toothopolis.)  Either way it’s confusing and little Chucky has been teleported into his own mouth.  Okay, I take back my initial statement, these comics are absolutely bat-shit crazy.

I love the imagery of turning a tube of toothpaste into a gun, and I’m actually surprised one of the companies didn’t think to try this out in their actual packaging.   I guess some kid would want to put the toothpaste directly on their teeth and the imagery of a kid with a gun to his mouth would be kind of wrong.  Still, it exists in the comics, so we can always get our dose of unfortunate design that way.  Also, though I realize that the writer was restricted to a single page of comic storytelling, I think it’s a waste to introduce an entire team of Crest heroes just to have the leader order the rest to lounge around while he single handedly goes out to fight the cavity creeps.  Kind of full of himself.  At least he lets the kid help out in the second comic…

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