She’s no Tinker Bell: HPA enrols a cheeky tooth fairy for dental health campaign

Y&R NZ and The Sweet Shop have combined their talents to show the tooth fairy in a memorable new light for the Health Promotion Agency and Ministry of Health’s latest crusade against cavities. 

In a moonlit bedroom, a tiny Tinkerbelle light appears on cue with magical music, before ‘poof’ turning into a full-size fairy. Complete with a big teeth tiara, she sits on a father’s bed and gives him a stern talking to, about caring for his child’s teeth.

“What got me excited about this idea was how it takes on the mythology of the tooth fairy and skews it for parents,” says The Sweet Shop director Damien Shatford, “If you don’t brush your little one’s teeth, a fierce looking fairy-lady is going come give you a good sassing.”

And sassy she is. The tooth fairy tells the startled father how not looking after baby teeth can “mess up adult teeth, aye” and finishes their chat with a slightly menacing line: “We’re not going to have another little talk are we?”

There is a serious side to the fresh and funny, 45-second TVC. Research shows parents do not know the importance of brushing baby teeth for healthy adult teeth and over 29,000 New Zealand children had to have teeth extracted last year alone.

“We’ve created a humorous, caring yet firm, tooth fairy to get this important message across to time-poor parents and make sure they realise just how important their role is in their kid’s oral health,” says managing director of Y&R NZ, Wellington, Tim Ellis.

The campaign launched online on this week, seeded via Flava radio station, and it clocked over 33,000 views in its first 12 hours online.

It’s the first video of a nationwide campaign that will see the not-so-sweet fairy champion oral health, and routine twice-daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste.


Agency: Y&R NZ
CCO/CEO: Josh Moore
Managing Director, Wellington: Tim Ellis
Executive Creative Director: Tim Huse
Creative Directors: Guy Denniston and Gavin Siakimotu
Head of Production: Liz Rosby
Account Director: Carmen Sellwood
Account Manager: Scarlett Aldridge
Planners: Jono Key and Nic Winslade
Senior Media Planner: Kate Thomson
Production company: The Sweet Shop
Managing Director: Fiona King
Producer: Andy Mauger
Director: Damien Shatford
DOP: Andrew Stroud
Production Manager: Nicky Simes
Post Production Offline: The Sweet Shop by Damien Shatford
Online Operator: Stu Bedford
Grade: Dave Gibson @ Palace
Post Production Online: Mat Elin @ Palace

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