J. Walter Thompson has created an off-beat film starring a laddish
tooth fairy and a bottle of Listerine in a radically different campaign
for the antiseptic mouthwash.
The 30- and ten-second versions feature the actor, Keith Allen, the
sinister star of Shallow Grave and Martin Chuzzlewit, as the anti-hero
As befits his jack-the-lad image, Allen is clad not in the usual
romantic garb of fairies, but appears dirty and unshaven in a grey
sheepskin coat with grubby mothlike wings attached.
Tooth fairy Allen is livid about the number of people using Listerine,
which the storyteller’s voiceover asserts, ’kills more germs than
The 30-second version opens in usual fairy-tale style with a giant story
book engraved with the title: ’The grim tooth fairy tales.’ The book
opens to reveal Allen hovering over a bed where a man lies asleep.
Allen moans: ’It’s hard being a tooth fairy. In the past all I had to
worry about was toothbrushing but now you people use something else
after you’ve brushed your teeth.’ He flaps into the bathroom where he
finds a bottle of Listerine. ’Oh no, not another bottle,’ he complains,
before returning to the sleeping man. He roughly lifts up the man’s gums
and whacks his teeth with his fist, exclaiming contemptuously: ’Rock
solid.’ At this point another tatty tooth fairy hovers vulture-like at
’I’d go next door, mate. They’re using Listerine,’ Allen says.
Jaspar Shelbourne, JWT’s executive creative director, said: ’It’s a gem
of a film, with extra impact thanks to the performance of Keith Allen
and excellent direction.’
The ad was written by Kieran Knight and art directed by Max Clemens.
It was directed by Trevor Robinson through Jane Fuller Associates. Media
planning and buying is through JWT.
The film breaks on 12 May in London, Meridian, Anglia, Central and
Channel 4. It is backed by a pounds 1.9 million spend.