This World Oral Health Day, Unilever's family of oral care brands have launched the "Don't Wait Until It's Too Late #TalkToADentist" campaign, aiming to tackle inequality of access and fight preventable tooth loss. Done in collaboration with advertising, marketing and communications agency, MullenLowe Lintas, the contents of the film demonstrates the importance of acting early to avoid preventable tooth loss. The film tells the story of a boy's journey and how it was exciting to lose his teeth. However, as the boy enters adulthood, he realises otherwise.

On the marketing front, the film will be shared across Unilever's social channels such as YouTube and Facebook for a month in Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Ghana. At the same time, Unilever also engaged Edelman, London to create the social influencer strategy for the campaign. For its social influencer strategy, Unilever's family of oral care brands will be engaging influencers across countries to raise awareness and educate people on the importance of getting a dentist's advice early to avoid tooth loss. Using a specially created AR filter, influencers will appear on the brands' social media channels with a missing tooth, encouraging users to act at the first sign of tooth pain. 

Unilever's spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that it is working with prominent influencer partners to post content that shows them with missing teeth, created using an augmented reality social media filter developed especially for the campaign. While the brand film shines a light on the ultimate consequence of delayed access to quality care – tooth loss, the role of influencers is to jolt audiences into action. By surprising their communities with an unexpected and visually arresting image of themselves, they will provoke and encourage people to address oral health issues early, the spokesperson said.

"Our strategy focuses on parents, especially mothers, who typically are the decision-makers on their family’s oral health, whether that’s choosing oral care products or determining when children should visit a dentist. Health and wellness influencers will also be engaged to educate those already focused on looking after their body and mind to inform them of the importance of prioritising oral care too," the spokesperson explained.

For instance, in Indonesia, the company is working with mum influencer Sharena Delon, as well as dad influencer Arief Muhammad with a combined following of more than 11 million. Both of them have successfully collaborated with Pepsodent in past campaigns and are no strangers to the brand. "With a keen understanding of our brand’s purpose and initiatives, our collaborations with them have always generated outstanding impressions and engagement rates," the spokesperson said.

In fact, this is not the first time Unilever has attempted to drum up awareness on the importance of dental health. Since 2005, Unilever's oral care brands have partnered with the FDI World Dental Federation, an independent organisation representing over one million worldwide. As part of an ongoing commitment to give consumers access to dentists, Unilever's oral care brands will jointly organise free dental check-ups and dental camps with the respective local, national dental associations this year to celebrate World Oral Health Day. 

Speaking about the film, Unilever's global VP of oral care, Mariano Sampietro said he believes that everyone should have access to convenient and affordable expert dental care. Sampietro added that on World Oral Health Day, the brand will be providing free teledentistry services and free dental check-ups via dental camps to tackle barriers to access such as distance and dentist availability. "These services will help millions of people take control of their oral health and avoid severe pain, costly and complicated treatments, and ultimately tooth loss. Through our campaign, we hope to raise awareness to ensure people understand the importance of acting early, from the moment a problem arises," Sampietro explained. 

Besides the company's commitment to dental and oral care, Unilever has also pushed forward in sustainability practices. Earlier this year, Unilever joined hands with global brands such as The Coca-Cola Company, Beiersdorf, IKEA, and Mondelez to call for a global pact to address plastic pollution.  National governments gathered for the resumed session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2), presenting the international community with an opportunity to take substantial decisions on plastic pollution. More than 70 companies including P&G, Nestle, Starbucks, Mars, Pepsico, L’Oreal, Inditex, H&M Group, and Danone, have signed a joint statement for a legally binding UN treaty on plastic pollution.

“We are at a critical point in time to establish an ambitious UN treaty that fosters collaboration for systemic solutions and speeds up the transition to a circular economy globally,” the statement said.

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