Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Tooth and beauty

The role of the media in the well-being of young people in the West has been much discussed in the past few decades, with the popularity of glossy magazines and the exuberant application of Photoshop in them suggested as compounding factors in the rise of eating disorders and cosmetic surgery.

However, looking through some old advertisements for dental products today I realised that not a great deal seems to have changed in the last half century or so. This Colgate toothpaste advertisement came out in 1947:

Apparently even in the 1940s, manufacturers were focussing on what sells - the fear of social exclusion and not being loved. The woman featured is destined to be alone and to be the target of hushed gossip, all because she doesn't use the right toothpaste. Compare this to any clothing, car or perfume advert on television now, which all promote an in-crowd and how a particular product can make you part of it.

The reference to 'scientific tests' is quite good too, with 7 cases out of 10 of 'Oral Offence' being prevented by using Colgate Dental Cream. Sounds about as scientific as the wonderfully named 'nutrileum' and 'pentapeptides' and so on which animatedly feature in modern shampoo adverts, eh?

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