Ad Nut
Jun 12, 2024

Philips plays spot the difference with lookalike celebs

The tongue-in-cheek campaign brushes with fame, Hong Kong celebrities and a dash of dental drama.

In Ad Nut's world, there are few things that trigger a dislike as strong as the one for murderous beasts, a.k.a canines (it's a long story), but celebrities featuring in ads comes very close. 
So why the aversion to celebrities in ads? Ad Nut thinks it's lazy marketing. Too often celebrities are slapped on a product or shoehorned into an advert to garner attention with little thought or imagination behind the creative and end up distracting from the message the brand is trying to convey.  
Step forward Philips and its latest campaign for electric toothbrushes that features not one, but two celebrities from Hong Kong that bear an uncanny resemblance to one another. 
Fans of the two celebrity pop stars, Hins Cheung and Terence Lam, have often remarked that the pair look strikingly similar in appearancean aspect this campaign deliberately taps into to drive home the message that “what looks the same may be nothing but.” 
A 30-second spot draws a clever parallel between the likeness of the two celebrities and the subtle yet significant differences in electric toothbrushes, in this instance the Philips Sonicare range, including AI-powered brushes and Philips's unique microbubbles technology that personalise oral care.
"Philips Sonicare, An Ultimate Oral Care" campaign capitalises on the audience's existing affection for the unexpected celebrity pair, setting the stage for an authentic narrative. We even have the two celebrities tease the campaign with interactions between the two on their social media pages to draw anticipation and conversation," said Chris Cheuk, campaign creative lead at TBWA\Hong Kong.
As ads featuring celebrities go, this one was not Ad Nut's least favourite. It gets a pass for using celebrities in a way that illustrates the message, rather than taking away from it. The physical likeness of the two celebrities yet with subtle differences, is played upon in a clever but tongue-in-cheek way to drive home the message that not all electric toothbrushes are the same.
But alas, Ad Nut remains unswayed by the star-studded persuasion. Decent creative effort, though—a toothy grin for trying!
Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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