Ad Council shows parents how to get what they want.

Ad Council shows parents how to get what they want.


As the intuitive persuader, Dale Carnegie advised us, “The only way on earth to influence people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.”  That’s what good advertising does.

Parents, of course, want to feel they are doing a good job.  Parents don’t often get that feeling.  Encouraging kids to brush their teeth for two minutes, especially if parents are brushing too, is one of the easier things parents can do.

Parents want to feel like good parents and this ad shows them a simple way to get that feeling.

Viewers’ attention might lag if the suggestion that they encourage their kids to brush their teeth for two minutes was set up by the observation that parenting is hard accompanied the visual of a parent engaged in a difficult act of parenting.  But this ad holds viewers’ attention by setting up the suggestion through a figure of speech.  The figure of speech is a form of substitution in which the message says something obviously false, encouraging the audience to substitute the truth.  When the dad rattles off the litany of good manner tips to the child, viewers know that’s not the way to teach manners, and they spontaneously substitute the idea that parenting is challenging.

The figure of speech sets up the suggestion that parents teach kids to brush for two minutes which is relatively easy by comparison.

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