McCann Erickson’s Happy Dent ad one of 20th century's best ads: Gunns Report

MUMBAI: It’s a proud moment for McCann Erickson, Mumbai as the agency’s Happy Dent Teeth Whitening Gum Happy Dent Palace ad has been shortlisted as one of the 20 best ads of the 21st century.

This list was compiled after The Gunn Report ran a popular poll asking readers to choose ten ads each from a pre-selected list of 30. McCann Erickson Mumbai is the only agency from India to have had its work shortlisted in the compilation.

“Very rarely do you see an advertisement reaching a level when it is considered as historical in the international stage. I am happy that my work has appeared as all time top 20 in 21st Century. I am honoured and deeply moved,” an elated McCann Worldgroup Asia Pacific chairman Prasoon Joshi tells

The advertisement shows utopian India in its bygone eras (possibly the 20th Century) when bright shiny teeth are source of light for people after sunset, and people replace street lights and even chandeliers!

This quirky, outlandish and downright hilarious concept for an ad that speaks of a teeth whitening candy gum devised primarily for electronic medium immediately went viral after its television release. 

Joshi points out that the ad doesn’t take itself seriously and that is exactly what has worked in favour of the TVC. 

“It knows it is a gag for a product in the impulse purchase category. It’s for a chewing gum and it doesn’t take itself seriously, and that drew people in,” Joshi adds with a chuckle. Other nuances that helped it cut above the noise was it's fun storytelling, beautiful and catchy music. “Somewhere it appeals to the fantastical and escapist side of the consumers. What if the world was like this? What if this could happen? The ad tends to urge us to imagine out of the box. On top of it is very focused about what it is trying to say about the product,” he adds.

Joshi also informs that being in a prestigious list or winning an award wasn’t on his mind at all when penning down the concept for the advertisement.

“Awards and rankings are not what we aim for when creating ads. When writing the script of this one, I was more immersed in it than anything. When awards follow it definitely inspires us to do better and encourages us, but that is never the end goal,” he  says.

Recalling the time the ad was launched, Joshi further adds that it initially released as any other advertisement and then gradually gained popularity as well as critical appreciation by winning advertising awards at Cannes. “Then people started circulating it through mails, talking about it and it became viral on its own right,” Joshi says, with a look ahead to keep creating more ‘timeless ads.’

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