Australian Screen

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Kolynos Dental Cream Advertisement: Kisses (c.1945)

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Kolynos kisses

This clip chosen to be G

Clip description

Different styles of kisses are demonstrated: the romantic kiss in silhouette, the ‘pantry petter’, the ‘I adore you’ kiss, the ‘lend me a quid’ kiss, the ‘hello darling’ kiss and the ‘home at last’ kiss. A grumpy man sitting outside the announcer’s studio says that without kisses ‘we wouldn’t get married so easy’. The announcer clicks his fingers and the man disappears.

A woman is shown smiling in profile and then close-up as the announcer smiles back. A model sits for the camera while the announcer talks about what gives a girl a kissable smile – Kolynos Dental Cream. Half an inch of Kolynos is put on a toothbrush.

In his booth, while the announcer is explaining to camera the benefits of Kolynos, he is distracted by a beautiful woman (revealed to be his wife) who he can’t help but kiss.

Curator’s notes

This advertisement is an early example of associating a product with (sexual or social) desirability. Romance is used as a marketing strategy to sell the Kolynos brand throughout the ad and the happily married couple at the end (Kolynos smiles shining to the camera) are the result of using the product. The ‘types of kisses’ exampled in this clip are situated firmly within the social conventions of the 1940s – with regards to gender relations and marriage. For example, the ‘pantry petter’ (who is, of course, found in pantries) is presented as a bit of a rascal in contrast to the more responsible male radio announcer in the ad who is quick to show that the woman he’s kissing is the one he’s married to. The ‘welcome home’ kiss is one specifically related to Australian experiences in the 1940s and therefore would have resonated strongly for audiences at the time: the kiss that reunited families with their loved ones returning from the Second World War.

Since the development of the advertising industry and the changes in acceptable social customs in the last 60 years, advertisements have increasingly linked their products with sex or sexual appeal. A recent Eclipse Gum television advertisement, for example, presented two strangers kissing passionately in a unisex bathroom after eating a breath mint. This passionate kiss in the Eclipse ad is a long way from the kiss which welcomes home returned servicemen in this Kolynos ad. This capturing of the social customs of the times is one of the reasons that classic cinema advertisements such as this one remain an important record of our social history.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

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