Ad Council launches landmark kids' oral health campaign

The Ad Council is joining the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives -- a coalition of more than 35 leading dental health organizations -- to teach parents, caregivers, and children about the importance of oral health.

They have launched Kids' Healthy Mouths, the first joint national multimedia public service campaign of its kind. The English and Spanish-launguage public service ads (PSAs) are currently being distributed to media outlets nationwide.

Created pro bono by ad agencies Grey Group and Wing in New York, the new public service campaign is aimed at parents and caregivers throughout the U.S., particularly low-income families, and stresses the importance of brushing for two minutes twice a day.

According to an Ad Council survey, 60% of parents with children ages 12 or younger reported that they do not regularly help their child brush their teeth or check to make sure they've done a good job. Additionally, 31% reported arguing with their kids at least once a week about brushing their teeth. Parents also reported that, on average, their child spends more than two hours each day playing video games, texting, or watching an online video -- time that could instead be focused on improving their oral health.

The survey was conducted online by LightSpeed Research June 19-25, 2012, with a sample of 601 English-speaking parents of children ages 0 to 12 from across the U.S.

The English and Spanish-language TV, radio, print, outdoor, and digital PSAs poke fun at the myriad of inane things children spend their time doing and highlight that it only takes two minutes twice a day to help maintain a healthy mouth and prevent future oral pain.

An additional PSA features Elmo from "Sesame Street" singing to kids, reminding them to "Brushy Brush" their teeth every day as part of Sesame Street's Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me campaign. The new campaign also includes a PSA featuring "Tooth" -- the tooth fairy from "Rise of the Guardians," the upcoming film from DreamWorks Animation.

The PSAs direct parents and caregivers to a new website where parents and children can watch entertaining videos and listen to music -- all two minutes in length -- while children are brushing their teeth.

This campaign is the first in the Ad Council's 70 year history to address oral health. The council is distributing the new PSAs to more than 33,000 media outlets nationwide, and the ads will air and run in advertising time and space entirely donated by the media.

Dental organizations in the coalition include the ADA, Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Periodontology, American Association for Dental Research, American Association of Endodontists, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Association of Orthodontists, American Association of Public Health Dentistry, American Association of Women Dentists, and American Dental Assistants Association.

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