Monday, July 7, 2008

Toothbrush Marketing

Tonight we went to Target (pronounced, someone told me, "tar-jhay", as opposed to the "tar-git" pronunciation that we uncivilized country folk are accustomed to). We were shopping around for various household items--toiletries (that's what they call toilet paper, right?), laundry detergent, hairspray, etc...

We were standing in the dental care aisle, looking for mouthwash. Do you know that they have mouthwash for kids that dies their left-over mouth gunk some bright color so that they know how terrible a job they're doing brushing? I DIDN'T know that.

Until the other day.

I used some of Lex and Gentrys "Plaque Detecting" mouthwash after brushing, and then headed off to work. I ran (a few moments late) into a fairly important meeting, and rushed to the head of the conference table, distributing my packets of handouts on the way. As I walked past, colleagues broke off conversations mid-sentence, looking up, heads bent, puzzled looks on their faces. I assumed that they were just admiring the positive affect of the OXY Acne Wash that I've been using the past weeks.

Self-confidence soaring, I stepped to the head of the conference table, pulled my handy-dandy laser-light from my pocket protector, and launched into my presentation. Almost immediately a colleague cleared his throat and raised his hand.

"Yes?" I pointed at him.

"Are those braces?" he asked querulously.


"On your teeth; you have hot pink between each of your teeth. What is that?"

I don't use the mouthwash anymore.

But I digress. I was standing there in the dental care aisle, staring aimlessly at the broad selection of Scooby Doo toothbrushes when Lex walked up next to me. She stood quietly beside me for a moment, hands behind her back, and gazed in awe at the cartoon-themed toothbrush selection. Then she cleared her throat.


"Huh? Oh! Hey Lex, what's up?"

"Well," she began, "do you know Hannah Montana?"

I don't actually know her. I know who she IS of course: a tweener female pop-star, whose real name is Miley Cyrus (daughter of that hunky, and oh-so-famous country star--the one who sang the timeless classic, Achy-Breaky Heart; what does that mean anyways?). Her TV show, produced by Disney catapulted her to almost cultish stardom before she was old enough to drive.

"Yes, Lex; I know who she is," I answered.

"Have you ever seen her teeth?" she asked.

"Um...well, I don't know, now that you mention it. Why?"

"They are SO white," she responded, just as I imagine Hannah might have--with that teen aged "OH-MY-GOSH" lilting, valley-girl half screech in her voice. "And you know what?" she continued. "This is the TOOTHBRUSH she uses!"

She held up a toothbrush festooned with Hannah dancing about the handle, and across the plastic packaging. Then she pressed a button on the handle, and Hannah opened (metaphorically) those stark white incisors (and bicuspids, and molars--you get the point), and began belting out, in a tinny, screechy voice, a song telling me (I think) to "place a bet on both horses"...or something.

She didn't get the toothbrush, but only because her mother came around the corner just before I'd fallen completely under the spell. Lex HATES brushing her teeth, but somehow, through the genius of marketing, the folks at the Hannah Montana toothbrush factory convinced her that, if she is to have pearly whites like Hannah, she's going to have to buy the $9.99 Hannah festooned toothbrush, and listen to Hannah sing out her gambling recommendations until the battery dies on the dumb thing.

I didn't have the heart to tell Lex that those are $40,000 veneers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thats a good one you should have taken a picture. It still dosent beat me brushing my teeth with desitin. Let me tell you it's a life changing event becoming a parent. Even though i wish i could have seen the look on your face when you realized about your teeth i still think the funniest thing about this post is that you have a pocket protector!!!!lol