In February, the AAO had the privilege of being recognized at the 2021 American Advertising Awards (ADDY Awards) in Saint Louis, the home of the AAO headquarters. The AAO was considered for these awards based on our work on the Consumer Awareness Program (CAP) campaign, Happy Mouth Now.

For those who are not familiar, the ADDY Awards is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition recognizing the creative spirit and excellence of advertising across the country. Each year, over 40,000 entries are placed through local organizations like the Advertising Club of Greater St. Louis in hopes of winning a Gold Award, the highest level of creative excellence. For the first time-ever, the AAO took a seat at the table with the best local creative agencies, production companies and more.

“Happy Mouth Now,” is a light-hearted, parody video series launched in 2020 that addresses direct-to-consumer orthodontics. The campaign contains social media and YouTube ads that drive consumers to a branded landing page, driving home the messaging that the risks of not seeing an orthodontist in person are very real.

Of the three finalists submitted, the AAO took home two Gold ADDYs in the category of Branded Content & Entertainment — one for single entry in its category and another for the full campaign. Our third finalist received a Silver ADDY in single entry in the same category.

The AAO’s consumer-facing content has attracted attention from a number of advertising organizations. Previously, AdWeek, an advertising trade publication frequented by global advertising creators, highlighted this campaign in 2020, calling it the AAO’s “most significant foray into content marketing.”

The AAO’s CAP is the only mass-market campaign designed to introduce the benefits of orthodontic treatment. Key to the campaign – particularly in today’s world of direct-to-consumer everything – is to promote the importance and value of receiving care from qualified professionals, namely, orthodontists.

The digitally focused effort uses a wide range of free and paid tactics to drive traffic to AAO’s consumer-facing website. In 2019 alone, our work led to a 324% increase in traffic to that site. Stay tuned for more compelling creative and outside-the-box campaigns from the AAO Consumer Awareness Program.