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STORY’s John Komnenich Helps Crest Promote Healthy Smiles

John Komnenich of


has directed a

new campaign

for Crest in which a dentist and a researcher offer valuable advice on how to prevent gum disease. Conceived by Chicago agency Burrell Communications, the spots promote Crest Pro-Health Clinical Gum Protection Toothpaste, which can help reverse gingivitis in just four weeks.
One spot features a real-life Chicago dentist who tells how the product can help “build the foundation of a healthy smile.” Her remarks wrap around shots of her examining a patient and that same patient relaxing with her son in a park. The second spot offers a similar scenario with a researcher presenting the science behind the product.

The spots we shot partially on location and partially on a sets that Komnenich designed with art director Lissa Claffey. They designed a set that was redressed to serve both as a dental office and a research facility. They employed set extensions, lighting, talent extras and inventive camera movement to give each enviroment a rich, deep and distinct look.

“I like to use a foreground element—glass or a wall—to move the camera around and create a feeling of depth,” Komnenich explains. “It makes the space look bigger and more impressive.”

“We also employed four extras in the background and let them go soft in order to pull our subject away from the background,” he adds. “By doing that, it attracts the viewer’s eye to the subject and makes the space look deeper.”

The spots gave Komnenich the opportunity direct both real people and actors portraying real people within the same project. Komnenich notes that he enjoys working with both. “I always strive to deliver performances were the viewer can’t tell the difference between actors and real people,” he says. “This project shows the results of both.”


is represented is represented on the East Coast by Laura Zinn (212) 741-0909; in the Midwest by Dawn Ratcliffe (312) 491-9194, in the Southeast by Miller Associates, (954) 563-6004; in the Southwest by Gossip!, (214) 288-2813 and on the West Coast by Sara Barnthouse (310) 384-3037.


Dentist, Researcher

Client: Procter & Gamble (Crest)
Agency: Burrell Communications, Chicago.


, Chicago. Mark Androw and Cliff Grant, executive producers; John Komnenich, director; Mary Langenfield, head of production.