The Tissue Test, O Rly?

I admire well-implemented marketing strategies. Nothing turns me on more than seeing companies know and appeal to their target market. I love it.

  • Sexy = a company that sees what we want and makes a product to meet that want.
  • Not Sexy = a company that makes a product, then tries to convince us it’s what we want- or worse, what we need.

“Technically” both are effective methods of marketing a product. But one solves a problem. The other creates a problem, then solves that made-up problem.

Solving made-up problems isn’t sexy, it’s sleazy.
No better than the proverbial used car salesman.

Crest’s Tissue Test is really something.

It’s been out for awhile, but if you haven’t seen the commercial yet, check it out on YouTube.

Basically, if your teeth aren’t white compared to a chemically whitened piece of tissue then your teeth aren’t white enough and you need to fix them.

Think about that. Crest wants us to compare our teeth to bleached tissue paper. Because that’s a totally rational standard of comparison. (I’m rolling my eyes so hard, I feel they may roll right out of my skull).

In case I’m not clear enough, the #tissuetest is not a thing. If there’s any sense in the world, it will never be a thing. But I bet there are those who will see that commercial and think, “my teeth aren’t good enough.”

Don’t we get more than our daily dose of the worldly-feel-not-good-enough from makeup commercials, clothing commercials, movies, and “reality” shows?

Do you feel unstylish? Overweight? Have messy hair? Too dark? Too light? Too not what the girls on TV look like? Great news! Now you can feel like your teeth aren’t white enough, too. Thank you, Crest!

I know Crest isn’t the first one to execute this sort of tactic and I know they’re not going to be the last. But still. If we’re going to make up standards of beauty, then could we be a bit more sensible?

And don’t even get me started on Lysol’s slick little ‘Toilet Germs’ commercial. Same scheme, different product.


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