Colgate launches ‘Game Face’ campaign for footy season via VML and Wavemaker

Colgate launches 'Game Face' campaign for footy season via VML and Wavemaker

“The aim is to change the perception of  what a ‘game face’ should be – moving away from intimidation to  empowerment.”

Oral health brand Colgate, the ‘Official Smile of the AFL,’ has launched its latest campaign for the 2024 footy season, Game Face, via creative agency VML and media agency Wavemaker.

The inspiration behind Game Face comes from research published in the Psychology of Sport and Exercise journal, suggesting that smiling can instantly improve an individual’s mood, helping athletes feel more relaxed and confident. On a broader scale, the campaign promotes the idea that smiling can improve everyone’s physical and mental performance.

“The aim is to change the perception of what a ‘game face’ should be – moving away from intimidation to empowerment,” explained Colgate senior marketing director, South Pacific, Anthony Crewes.

The campaign is led by a 30-second film featuring athletes such as the Sydney Swans’ Isaac Heeney and Melbourne Demons’ Christian Petracca. It is supported by out-of-home, digital, in-stadium, and social media executions.

VML and Wavemaker 'Game Face' OOH Ads for Colgate

“Our new campaign is designed to encourage everyone to liberate the power of their smile,” Crewes continued.

“Working with Isaac Heeney from the Sydney Swans and Christian Petracca from the Melbourne Demons really made the idea a reality with exceptional success.” 

VML & Wavemaker 'Game Face' Colgate Ad

“This campaign marks the beginning of our mission to connect people to one of the simplest, and most uplifting, ways to improve performance… to smile,” said VML APAC CCO, Paul Nagy.

“Sport is meant to be about a game… joyful competition of the human spirit. But these days it’s very disconnected from that. It’s more a business than a leisure activity… even at the most junior level. Colgate understands we can’t change that, but what we can do is connect people to a simple truth they’ve probably forgotten – enjoying the game makes you better at it. That’s not wishful thinking: it’s a fact.”

Wavemaker ANZ’s group director of content and partnerships, Alexia Antonis, added:  “Colgate has been a long-standing official partner of the AFL, a sport anchored in Australian culture.

“Seven’s AFL broadcast has been a strong launch pad for Colgates’ Game Face film, reaching large audiences and delivering impactful integrated and contextually relevant placements that strengthen the campaign message – putting smiles on more fans’ faces.”

VML was created in a merger by WPP in October last year  after joining two of its creative agencies – Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R. Its latest work follows a June campaign for Queensland University of Technology, in which VML refreshed the university’s long-standing The University for the Real World creative platform.

Last month, VML also launched a new campaign for Cuddly, Love that Lingers, aiming to connect the fabric softener brand with modern families.

See also:
Queensland University of Technology refreshes its platform via VML
Cuddly Fabric Softener launches Love that Lingers campaign with VML

Client: Colgate-Palmolive
Creative: VML
Media: Wavemaker ANZ
Production: Collider
Audio and music composition: Sonar
Voice over: Tasman Keith
Casting: Citizen Jane

Top Image: Isaac Heeney

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