It’s been a while since we’ve done an Evil Ad around these parts, but I’ve got to say that I’m missing the Halloween season something fierce. Usually when that happens, I revive this column – a series of Halloween and horror-related ads that focus on the spirit of the season. You can check out the previous entries in the Evil Ad series here.
For our Halloween toothpaste ads, we’ll start with this vintage magazine circulation for Chlorodent Toothpaste. Now Chlorodent isn’t around anymore, and probably for good reason: it was a chlorophyll-based product, which features a green tint that probably doesn’t whiten despite its antimicrobial properties. Still, even if you didn’t know Chlorodent was off the market, this advertisement probably wouldn’t make it past today’s editorial staff.
The Chlorodent ad department had a habit of marketing its products directly to women, specializing in condescending remarks like this one: “No Halloween mask scares off a man as much as ‘morning mouth.'” Capitalizing on women’s fear of being unable to impress a man, Chlorodent urges anyone with the dreaded morning mouth to use the product before her man kicks her to the curb for unpleasant halitosis. Men, however, don’t need to worry about their morning whiskey breath: that’s a sign of a true guy, after all.
Crest went in a different direction for their Halloween advertising, holding a new taste-testing R&D panel with children in their Halloween costumes and offering them various disgusting “health food candies” meant to prevent cavities. Instead of demeaning women, they forced one particular little girl to be known as “that kid who threw up in a Crest ad,” and unfortunately the host will probably be known as “that guy who didn’t care that a little girl threw up her gross candy.”
Although not particularly Halloween-esque, it’s still a funny ad, although it’s surprising that there wasn’t more outrage about this sort of puke gag.
Colgate’s vintage ads often featured this pleasing original artwork and a nice poem, and their Halloween ad really shines thanks to its classic jack-o-lantern imagery and the rhyming Halloween limerick. Keep in mind this was back in a time when people were actually reading, and this would be a huge advertising fail today.
Aquafresh went with a parent-friendly approach using their Captain Aquafresh character, a superhero who comes in and kicks the butts of all the scary Halloween candy kids shouldn’t be eating at this time of year. While I’m not a huge fan of superheroes at Halloween, I do enjoy the fact that Captain Aquafresh is sporting some vampire teeth.
However, it’s totally cool for kids to enjoy a few sugary treats on Halloween night as long as they brush their teeth before bed, so don’t be a dick and let them have a candy bar or two.