Tic Tac: Ad Of The Week

Keep It Fresh

Tic Tac


Like many brands these days, Tic Tac are backing up their TV work with a host of quirky, one-off, headline-grabbing executions. A cross-promotional Coke flavour has just been announced, and last year they released some Tic Tac brand cuff-links for Fathers’ Day, to keep your Dad looking “fresh”.

At 52 years old itself, the Ferrero-owned brand can certainly sympathise. Attempts to freshen up Tic Tac’s TV presence began in earnest with 2018’s “Mr Tic Tac” spot, which marked the brand’s return to the small screen with a shot of youthful quirkiness. Alas, like many a 50-something getting down with the kids, its moves didn’t quite come off. The attempted introduction of a new fluent device – Mr Tic Tac himself – fell flat, with the blustering character seeming like a bit of a bully in his attempts to help a shy young man.

This new ad shows a brand learning from its experiences. Recent executions have quietly dropped the Mr Tic Tac character but kept the setting – an urban park – and the off-beat storytelling, in this case centering on two women tossing tic-tacs to each other long-distance. A strong 4.8 Star Rating tells us that this version of the idea hits the spot. It’s communicating the idea of carefree fun and freshness without bludgeoning the viewer with it.

It’s also a great example of right-brainedness at work in an ad. If you’ve read Lemon, you’ll know how important “between-ness” is at catching the attention of the right brain. Relationships between characters, expressed in dialogue or in unspoken communication like a glance or gesture, make an ad far more engaging and emotionally appealing.

The Tic Tac ad might not have dialogue, but it makes between-ness central to its 20-second storyline, turning the mystery of who the lady on the bench’s glances and gestures are meant for into the ad’s narrative hook. What results is an ad which gets attention, makes people smile, and shows that iterating on an idea can result in far fresher outcomes.