Pepsodent manipulated us into using toothpaste

Pepsodent manipulated us into using toothpaste

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This is how we learned to do the right thing for the wrong reason.

When pepsodent toothpaste was introduced in 1915, only 6% of Americans brushed their teeth. Everyone has cavities. Pepsodent hires publicist Claude Hopkins to create an information campaign about the benefits of the toothbrush.

That’s good, he has a brilliant idea.

He will sell toothpaste not as a health product but as a beauty product by activating three psychological levers:

Fear: Tooth decay is too long in coming, you have to be able to convey an imminent danger to people. Run your tongue over your teeth, you’ll feel this type of layer, it’s what’s causing your teeth to rot!
Shame: Ladies, what will people think of you if your smile isn’t flawless?
INSTANT REWARD ROUTINE: Pepsodent contains fluoride, which leaves your mouth with that sparkling sensation you associate with a clean mouth.
This is your instant treat that will keep you brushing your teeth every day.

10 years later, 65% of Americans are brushing their teeth.

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