3- So, how does it work?

“Listerine works below the gum line and penetrates bacteria layers removing 97% of bacteria left after brushing” the man explains.

Some technical words but the whole is understandable, right? But still, even if one doesn’t get it, a graphical work is presented to help the consumer visualize the process. Teeth are shown covered by a brown/yellow residue that couldn’t be cleared with a basic toothbrush. Brown generally represents natural elements, coming from earth, solid and dirty elements like mud. Components no one would like to have in their mouth – at least, as far as I’m concerned. Bacteria residues are often invisible or below the gum line so we do not see them. But why are they represented this way in the ad? This is pathos: by showing them, the advertisement aims to stimulate our disgust and fear, which will makes us crave the product and bring us to get it. Also, this is the first and only “disgusting” scene in the ad. Hence, we quickly notice the contrast between the clean man in the pharmacy representing Listerine and us, “dirty customers”. What a shame! We need Listerine.


In addition, the way the process is presented is deliberate. The purple liquid representing the Listerine product slides and penetrates smoothly between the teeth. The schematic purple arrows move like a flow, easily and satisfying: we can already feel our mouth fresher and cleaner. This is an appeal to logic: we see how Listerine works and it seems beneficial. One more time, Science supports the fact we should buy Listerine.