How TV Advertising Helped the Tooth Fairy Build Her Business

Entrepreneurial magic from Thinkbox and Mother London

It pays to advertise on TV, even if you're the Tooth Fairy. 

That's the premise of a fantastical campaign from Thinkbox, the marketing group that represents European commercial outlets Channel 4, ITV, Sky, Turner and UKTV, among others. 

"I'm in deliveries and collections," the winged one explains early on in the minute-long spot below. "I was a bit of a one-woman outfit at first," operating from a work-share space"—who knew?—"struggling to put a team together and relying on word of mouth, social media and promotion to spread the word. 

Alas, "we weren't growing fast enough."

Could a TV campaign help. Could it?!

Thinkbox | Tooth Fairy (1591)

Of course it could. Soon, she's a corporate high-flier, gracing TV screens and magazine covers following a hit IPO, with a skyscraper "Tooth Fairy PLC" HQ soaring into the clouds. 

Ultimately she's partying with other "deliveries and collections" icons the Grim Reaper and Santa Claus (who gets nicely naughty as champagne flows). Bottom line: "TV advertising. The results are legendary."

Smuggler's Benji Weinstein directed the quick-paced spot, which represents Thinkbox's first collaboration with creative shop Mother London. The tale's told with an admirably light touch and jokey bits that consistently score. (Those cardboard wings on the wannabe fairies simply won't … fly.)

"This could have been a televised case study of one of the multitude of businesses that TV has transformed in real life," says Thinkbox marketing director Andrew MacGillivray. "But we have plenty of rational case studies available on our website. Much better to use TV for what it is so incredibly good at: emotionally engaging storytelling at scale. Step forward the dynamic entrepreneur who is the Tooth Fairy."

Abbie Murphy's appealing central performance—both effervescent yet offhand, like some real CEOs we know—carries the day. She's like your chatty pal from Croydon … with her own global conglomerate, and wings. More to the point, the character's star turn feels about right, if only because the Tooth Fairy ranks among the fantasy figures most closely associated with commerce. (Santa's just your dad, after all. And you pay the Ferryman; the Reaper, alas, works for free.) 

Of course, the Tooth Fairy's business model consists of giving away money rather than making it. Though here she's shown with heaping cartons of kiddie molars and incisors, so maybe there's a lucrative aftermarket? *Shivers*

An agency rep reports that the crew faced an unusually sensitive quandary on set: "The main behind-the-scenes challenge was protecting the innocence of our child actors who still, quite rightly, believed that a lady with wings swaps their baby teeth for cash." 

CREDITS

Creative Agency: Mother London
Creative/Strategy: Mother
Director: Benji Weinstein, Smuggler
Production Company Producer: Kate Noble
DOP: Simon Richards
Editor: Max Windows @ Stitch
Colourist: George K @ Black Kite
VFX Supervisor: Dan Sanders
Motion Design Lead: Ashley Tyas
Post Production House Producer: Amy Richardson
Sound Engineer: Sam Robson @ 750MPH
Music Supervision: Arnold Hattingh @ Theodore Music
Media Agency: MediaCom

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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