Colgate’s latest campaign reveals the power of a smile in the face of adversity

Red Fuse, WPP’s integrated global team dedicated to serving Colgate-Palmolive, has launched a new brand film for Colgate’s Smile Strong campaign that highlights the power of smile in the face of adversity.  

The film, which will run on cinema and digital from November to December tells the story of a bright young man Airliftz, who despite relentless hardships throughout his life due to facial deformities since birth, continues to smile strong. 

The cinematic direction of the film takes the viewer on a journey through Airliftz’s life from childhood, giving a very real insight into what he has faced throughout his life.

90 percent of the film is shot from the back, retracing significant and often heartbreaking moments in his life, until he walks from the dressing room to the stage where he is greeted by thousands of excited fans. 

The contrasting stories demonstrates how his willpower and determination has broken through societal biases, which ultimately led him to share his passion with the world. 

Airliftz’s poignant story was chosen to inspire and remind Malaysians that with perseverance, and a positive attitude, we can all achieve great things that can change your life forever. 

See Mei Sin, Associate Marketing Director (Oral Care) said: “Colgate believes that everyone deserves a future they can smile about – no matter the age, race, gender, or simply one’s looks. It is our hope that Airliftz’ story inspires an optimistic spirit within Malaysians – that there is true power in our smile, regardless of our circumstances.

Adrian Miller, Chief Creative Officer Malaysia said: “In the toothpaste category, we don’t tend to see much deviation from the norm when it comes to brand storytelling. So, we always ask ourselves how can we bring a fresh perspective to well-trodden territory? 

By keeping the protagonists face hidden throughout the commercial and juxtaposing the harsh realities of his past life with the adulation he’s receiving in the present we created a film that will intrigue the viewer. 

In a world of disposable content, the best we can hope for is for people to watch to the very end and the least we can do is reward them for doing so.” 

View the 90s film here:


Colgate APAC 
Vice-President Marketing APAC: Yves Briantais
Marketing Director, Impactful Brand Experience APAC: Lyndon Morant
Marketing Director: Edith Marquez-Reyes
Associate Marketing Director: See Mei Sin
Impactful Brand Experience
Lead: Krisha Dy
Senior Brand Manager: Lee Wei Shiarn 

WPP – Malaysia team
Chief Executive Officer: Nizwani Shahar
Chief Creative Director: Adrian Miller
Associate Creative Director: Shariar Ghafar
Creative Group Head: Abiseshana Mohan
Art Director: Foong Mei Pang
Account Director: Sumana Ratilal
AV Producer: Loo Seng Tuck
Art Buyer Manager: Mandy Lee 

WPP – Regional team
Executive Director: Daniel Cullen
Regional Executive Creative Director: Kenny Choo
Regional Account Manager: Shreya Jhamtani 

Film Director: Ismail Kamarul
Executive Producer: Sabrina Wong
Post House: APV
Audio House: Two AM Music Global  

We Are Stronger When We Smile – Song
CEO Red Records: Hassan Choudhury
A&R and Marketing Executive Red Records: Ting Jia Lee
Written and performed by: Airliftz
Executive Producer: Eu Jin Tang
Producer: Tatsuro Miller 

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