Text message this…

The first time I saw these advertisements in the subway cars, was on my commute to Temple’s main campus. I initially thought they were funny, entertaining my thoughts on the ridiculous combination of gum, internet clichés, and young people just having fun. It was a nice chuckle to my morning.

But that was then…

So when I saw this article in the New York Times today, my consequent thought (in the voice of my advertising professor Dr. James Marra) was… “Advertising goes where the people go.”

Inevitably advertisers have taken a step forward, following the technology surge of electronic communication and the youth of today’s obsession with it.

This Dentyne chewing gum campaign, called “Make face time,” features taglines associated with cell phones, the Internet, messaging and popular social media jargon. The lingo for those readers who might not know are relative to text messaging, online chatting and the ever popular Facebook. But then again, I’m not sure how you couldn’t recognize the connection between the two. Especially, considering today’s society and the fascination with the conveniences of technology.

As the article states, “People under 20 are the most avid gum chewers,” so it seems more than appropriate for advertisers to target this specific audience. High school and college students are presently the primary electronic communicators, as well as internet addicts.

The campaign was created by the adverting company McCann Erickson, which is part of the McCann Worldgroup unit of the Interpublic Group of Companies. In addition to creating the print ads, they also established a creative online presence. Visit Dentyne’s website at www.makefacetime.com which, consequently warns visitors the page will shut down after three minutes! The page urges visitors to do just as the Times’ article is titled, “Get off the Internet and Chew Some Gum!”

And so, it also seems the company has been receiving a great deal of positive responses from the public. One consumer reacted, “…Dentyne, you may be at the forefront of an emerging social phenomenon!” Honestly, I couldn’t agree more. The new ads definitely break from the traditional gum angles, but I’d say it might change more than just the gum industry’s way of considering advertising avenues.

*Picture from NewYorkTimes.com

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