The Amazingness of a Happy Mouth

I love egregious examples of faux-scientific jargon and weird portrayals of the research process in advertising. I just noticed that Rembrandt, the company that makes tooth whitening systems, has a couple of doozies. From their “Brilliant Science” website:

At REMBRANDT┬«, we believe if you want to make something different, you have to do things a little differently. That’s why we like to think outside the lab (which is, in actuality, a giant box). Who knows when a cloud in the sky or guitar playing in the park will lead to the next bit of amazingness. It’s this novel, creative approach to science that has led us to think differently about our mouth.

This is like Apple ad copy (Think Different!) crossed with a preschool activity schedule (giant boxes, clouds, parks, guitars). But wait! According to the copy on their 2 Hour Whitening Kit,

As we continue to make great advances in oral care, sometimes we have to stop and enjoy a good laugh. Laughing releases endorphins, neurotransmitters that make you feel good. Exposing yourself to the laughter of others can have the same effect.

I’m not sure I like the advice to “expose yourself to the laughter of others.” I mean, is this whitening kit going to turn my teeth green? That would elicit a burst of cortisol, not endorphins.

But I do appreciate the vision of a bunch of scientists working solemnly in the Oral Care lab (which is, in actuality, a giant box), and periodically breaking into eerily synchronized group belly-laughs. Scientists are people too, you know – people who must self-medicate with laughter-induced endorphins because we work in giant boxes.

Still, Rembrandt’s ad team ultimately charmed me with their wacky mission statement, What We Believe:

It’s good to have a mouth.

A healthy mouth that sits inside your head. Right next to your brain. They’re friends, these two. They work together. . . A mouth is the closest you’ll ever get to a person’s mind. Its a direct link to another person’s experience. The power of a healthy mouth that works well shouldn’t be underestimated. Gums stand tall. Teeth white, smiling. Tongue bouncing around. Verbal surprise flying out. That is brilliance.

Okay, okay, you win: my mouth is smiling, if only because that must be among the weirdest series of images ever used to describe the human oral cavity.


  1. #1 PhysioProf
    August 11, 2008

    Scientists are people too, you know – people who must self-medicate with laughter-induced endorphins because we work in giant boxes.

    Most scientists I know do, indeed, engage in plenty of self-medication, albeit with stronger shit than “laughter-induced endorphins”!

  2. #2 Stephanie Z
    August 11, 2008

    “It’s good to have a mouth”? I’m not sure just how much good it does me hanging agape. I…uh…just…wow.

  3. #3 Jan-maarten
    August 12, 2008

    Funny! I’m not sure I like the ‘happy people have white teeth’ connotation, but I’m definitely going to think about flying verbal surprises a lot for the rest of the day! Or interesting thoughts, wrapped in verbal surprise material.

  4. #4 artsci muse
    August 13, 2008

    Here’s another weird image of the human oral cavity gratis my Buddhist teacher who was giving a dharma-talk and wanted us to pay attention to the sensations in our body. “There’s an animal in your mouth,” he said. “It moves around, curls, rubs against your teeth, touches the roof of the mouth, has different taste sensations.” We got it! he was talking about our tongues!” When I told my 5-year-old nephew that he had an animal in his mouth and asked him to guess what it was, a look of terror passed across he face. “No no, just joking” I said. He relaxed. Whew!

  5. #5 michael
    August 14, 2008

    How can you reproduce this pro-mouth propaganda? Mouths are one of the leading causes of social anxiety and interpersonal strife. Aside from the inexcusable role of mouths in international conflicts, mouths literally eat up a staggering proportion of the average American’s income. In fact, the average American loses much more income to his mouth than the average citizens of most other countries in the world.
    Mouths are a menace, plain and simple. Write your congressman. Talk to your neighbors. Together we can stop this.

  6. #6 Jessica Palmer
    August 15, 2008

    Michael – you did not even mention the insidious role of the mouth in alcoholism, obesity, and gingivitis! I find your position to be far too moderate. You’re a mouth appeaser, aren’t you?

  7. #7 jg fowlers
    May 4, 2010

    I have to be honest I have used this and it works very well!!

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