Playful Public Service

Delta Dental of South Dakota works to improve oral health and hygiene by emphasizing preventive care. Sealants are one way to prevent childhood cavities. Delta approached HenkinSchultz to develop a public service campaign to promote this procedure.

The sealant application is a simple procedure to apply a thin coating to the chewing surface of a child’s tooth. It’s painless, and reduces bacteria in the crevices of the teeth. This, in turn, prevents cavities.

A trip to the dentist is never a child’s favorite thing. So, we set out to make the procedure friendly and approachable. Central to the campaign was our public service announcement, a :30 television spot promoting the benefits of sealants. In it, we featured a typical dentist visit: a nervous child, comforting mom and a kid-friendly dentist. The boy imagines the dentist is a seal.

Our goal was to remove objections, educate the public and do something memorable.
The seal character also appears as an illustration in other campaign materials: posters, online and in brochures.

Delta Dental South Dakota is part of the national Delta Dental organization. Together, they strive to make dental coverage more accessible and affordable to a wide variety of employers, groups and individuals. The campaign received two awards at the national conference this January: PR Campaign of the Year and Brand Champion Award.

The multi-platform campaign helped propel a 13% increase in Medicaid sealant claims and a 5% increase in commercial sealant claims. The campaign also positioned Delta Dental of South Dakota as an oral health leader. It supported their mission to improve oral health for all, and promote preventive care.