Of toothpaste and butter

When we were growing up, we watched commercials on television with the same fervour as we did the shows, and then nagged our parents to buy us all those lovely things that were so beautifully presented, with their catchy tunes and visuals. The commercials were full of promise, and wonderful treats.

Advertising has come a long way since then, what with all the digital sprucing-up and visual effects.  Their appeal to children has only increased.

I remember two funny incidents about how television commercials influenced children.

A few years ago, a new gel tooth paste was introduced in the market. The TV commercial showed a young lad, who brushes his teeth with the gel tooth paste, and suddenly finds himself energized by fresh breath. He is then surrounded by a glowing blue spiral that spins & glows around him, to enhance the message.

One of my nephews was very taken with the commercial and had his parents buy the tooth paste for him. Very excitedly, he went in to brush his teeth. A few minutes later he came running out crying, asking all of us why there was no gel spiral around him.

The other incident happened with my son. A few years ago, he was watching a commercial for Amul Butter, whose tag line was ‘The Taste of  India’.

Many days later, when we were in the supermarket, my son came running down the aisle whooping for joy, saying loudly, “Mom, I found the taste of India. Can I taste India, now, please?”

Whether it’s a simple tooth paste or every day butter, a great commercial can truly impact little minds!


Salty Saturday

When we were growing up, weekends were fun days, except for one specific ritual on Saturday mornings that we had to follow.  My Dad had read a book on herbal medicine that advocated the use of salt, at least once every week, instead of toothpaste, to brush your teeth.

We woke up on Saturdays to small cups filled with salt, for each of us. My father stood and watched, as we brushed with eyes squirming. We would all go from sleepy to fully alert in a matter of seconds, as the salt overrode all our other senses.

Ugh! We grimaced at each other, but our Dad stood quite unmoved.

Needless to say, that was the first ritual I knocked off my list, when I left home for University.

A few years ago, when I was quaking in a dentist’s chair, she commended me on well-preserved teeth. Jokingly, I told her that it was because of the once-a-week-salt toothpaste I used as a child.

She looked disbelievingly and laughed. I laughed with her too.

Recently, when I was stocking up routine stuff for the house at the supermarket, I walked down the aisle that had oral hygiene products and guess what? There was Colgate Active Salt toothpaste.

Hmmmmm…..maybe I should get my kids started on the Salty Saturday routine.