The toothpaste brand Colgate introduced a new logo a few years ago, adding a smile to its traditional wordmark. But something was missing from the design: teeth. The brand is now putting that right in a new campaign that aims to encourage people to flash their gnashers more often.
The campaign involves multiple logo variations in which the Colgate smile is given teeth in a wide array of forms, including gaps, chips, wonky angles, and braces. There's even an AI image generator that allows customers to create a design based on their own teeth (and that means more than just a subtle logo change).
Designed by TeamWPP@CP and launched in Australia and parts of Asia for World Smile Day on 6 October, the #FreeYourSmile campaign aims to counter so-called “smile shame". Colgate says that it carried our a 'Smile Study' in the Asia-Pacific region and found that 94 per cent of respondents had a desire to smile more freely but that many refrain from doing so because they are embarrassed by the state of their teeth.
Noting that smiling has shown to have health benefits, Colgate has also launched a Smile Generator AI tool that allow people to create their own personalised Colgate smile logo stickers. Users take or upload a photo, and the generator will create a logo based on the shape of their teeth to share on TikTok and Instagram.
“Smile Shame is especially prevalent in Asia-Pacific and this must change,” Yves Briantais, executive vice president of marketing Asia-Pacific at Colgate-Palmolive, said. “At Colgate, we are on a mission to free people from the constraints of Smile Shame to truly embrace their own unique smiles. We believe brands have the power to challenge unrealistic beauty standards and promote authenticity. This World Smile Day, Colgate is leading the charge by celebrating all smiles.”
I can't say I have ever wanted to have my own personalised Colgate logo, but the campaign is a clever way to engage customers and push back against some of the expectations of what the perfect teeth should look like (which adverts for dental products may themselves have played a role in creating). Not very long ago, it would be rare to see anyone with less than perfectly symmetrical pearly whites in toothpaste advertising, so it's refreshing to see Colgate embracing more varied mouths, even in its logo.
For more logo inspiration, see our pick of the best new logos.