Kolynos Dental Cream: Next Please (c1944)
In this 1940s cinema advertisement, Mrs Howard and her daughter Nancy visit a dentist for a check-up.
As they sit in the waiting room, the narrator asks Mrs Howard if Nancy brushes her teeth correctly. A close-up of Nancy brushing her teeth in a sideways motion is frowned upon by the narrator who instructs Nancy in the correct way to brush and suggests she use Kolynos Dental Cream. We see half an inch of dental cream applied to a toothbrush.
The narrator concludes by saying that by brushing her teeth correctly and selecting the right toothpaste, Nancy’s teeth will be in ‘perfect condition’ on her next visit. This is illustrated by her dentist report card.
Summary by Poppy De Souza
This advertisement employs a clever use of voice-over that moves the narration into direct dialogue with its characters and audience.
The male narrator’s voice intrudes into the dentist’s waiting room when he asks the startled Mrs Howard whether her daughter Nancy remembers to brush her teeth.
Nancy can also hear the narrator as he instructs her in the correct way to brush her teeth in the mornings. If Nancy (and the audience) takes this advice, then she will not have to come back for fillings in the future.
This advertisement focuses on correct brushing with the right dental cream, targeting a common family situation. The ad also emphasises Kolynos’ scientific basis – it was developed by dental surgeon Dr NS Jenkins in 1908 and endorsed by the American Dental Association. Kolynos is recommended because it is 'a scientific dental cream’.
This advertisement was produced by the J Walter Thompson advertising agency, which also produced advertisements for Kelloggs, Kraft, Rinso and Persil products during the 1940s.
Notes by Poppy De Souza