Vintage Toothpaste Advertisement Analysis

I chose to analyze advertisements on toothpaste as it has always been a basic good that is used by everyone. the Ads I chose are from the period ranging from 1920s to 1960s. This blog analyzes and compares the difference in the strategies used by Pepsodent, Amm-i-dent and Colgate to market their products.

The first ad is by Pepsodent. The targeted audience of this advertisement is women. The first thing that catches the viewers eye about this advertisement is the the picture of a woman smiling and putting toothpaste on her daughter’s toothbrush. The advertisement claims that “Beautiful teeth is the first step to beauty”. This is easily going to appeal to any woman’s mind as feeling beautiful about herself is of great importance to any woman. Hence I feel this was a good way to add the pathos element to the advertisement. The ad claims that Pepsodent is the new toothpaste that removes film and prevents tooth corrosion. It is recommended by dentists across 50 nations and the ad lists its additional benefits. According to me, the ad has been made well and clearly puts out its Ethos element as well.

The second ad is by the company Amm-i-dent. The audience for this ad clearly seems to be mothers. The ad shows a little girl child going through a case of cavities and blames the mother for feeling “too smart” to listen to the advertisement that says Amm-i-dent removes cavities. the ad attempts to make mothers feel guilty about not using Amm-i-dent as the toothpaste for their children. This seemed to be the pathos in this ad as it attempts to make mothers feel cautious about which toothpaste they should use for their family. The ad is designed in a manner that boosts the product’s image and shows its advantages over other brands. It shows Amm-i-dent’s economic advantage by saying that one can buy a higher quantity for a lower price as compared to other toothpaste brands where you will get a lesser quantity for the same price.

The third Ad, by Colgate has a completely different approach towards attracting customers. Colgate for a change, has targeted male athletes as their audience. The ad explains how a professional swimmer has had a much better overall experience in his career by maintaining healthy teeth through using Colgate. The ad shows no scientific evidence or support by dentists, as compared to the Pepsodent ad nor does it attempt to boost its image and undermine other toothpaste brands. It is just a simple depiction of healthy teeth leading to a happier and healthier athlete.

In conclusion, all these three companies target a specific audience and seem to approach them with their own unique strategies. In my opinion, the most credible ad seemed to be Pepsodent’s ad as it has clear depictions of Ethos and Pathos. At the same time it does not come off as pretentious and boastful like that of amm-i-dent’s. I also took note of how both Amm-i-dent and Pepsodent targeted a female audience probably for the simple fact that female’s are more eager to buy products related to beauty. Colgate’s ad showed no sign of credibility as it simply states that it’s product is good for athletes without any hard evidence to back it up.

Works Cited

The Pepsodent Company. Good Housekeeping Aug. 1924: 128. Print.

Amm-i-dent. FARM JOURNAL Feb. 1953: 142. Print.

Colgate. American Boy July 1924: 57. Print.


3 thoughts on “Vintage Toothpaste Advertisement Analysis

  1. I thought you did a very good job at separating out each add into three paragraphs, then analyzing each ad individual. This really allowed me to understand the different strategies used in the ads. It was also good how you summed the up in the concluding paragraph. You did well at wrapping up the essay by adding your own opinion on which ad was the best. Although, I would be hesitant to take advice from dentist who recommend certain toothpastes, especially since they make a living off of cleaning teeth.


  2. The analysis of the three advertisements are good. Also the separation into 3 paragraphs emphasises on that ad only and doesn’t confuse the readers about which ad is being discussed. Also the inclusion of ethos and pathos was good, as it made it more intellectual than just an analysis of advertisements.


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