The Crest campaign of the '70s



The Crest toothpaste series of commercials that featured children reporting to their fathers after a dental examination offered an interesting twist to the familiar "father as arbiter" trope. In this ethnically diverse series, the dads served as the "pitch men" for the toothpaste; the arbiters were the dentists, who never appeared on-screen. Interestingly, Moms were also absent from most of the commercials in this series though their presence was implied. Because each of the kids burst in on Dad while he was at work or, as in the last spot, at play with the boys, it might be assumed that the mothers brought the youngsters by to brag to their fathers. Though this is a curious narrative decision, it succeeded in placing Dads front in center in ads that did not portray them as clods or dolts or numskulls.

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