IKE & TINA: Commercial

Pearl Drops (1975)

Ike & Tina Turner - Dr. Pepper - Commercial

Pearl Drops is a whitening toothpaste, founded in 1968 from a dentist, after his wife bemoaned the lack of home whitening products. In four short years after the birth of Pearl Drops’ innovating tooth whitening polish, Pearl Drops had already become a favourite amongst America’s rich and famous. It proved so popular that convincing pop culture idol of the time, Tina Turner, to feature in a television advert was a breeze. The ad proved just as effective as the product itself, launching the brand into the public eye… and into bathroom cabinets across the country.

Tina did this very special commercial in 1975, and it seems like she and her toothpaste friend might want to be alone for a while… It’s a little bit like the toothpaste is her microphone, while she performs I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.

Ben Fong-Torres for Rolling Stone via the Mansfield News Journal (July 1, 1975):

We were watching "Goodnight America," and there was, to our utter surprise, a break for a commercial. On came Tina Turner, testifying for Pearl Drops Tooth Polish. Flashing the smile that beguiles Roger Daltrey in "Tommy," the Acid Queen followed her verbal endorsement with a finale that would have melted the plaque off a Puritan's dental plate.

Turner, at home in LA, told us she didn't really know how the commercial came to be. "It just seemed to happen when I went to do the 'Tommy' premiere in New York. It took two hours. It was sort of moving and a little bit happy." Asked about the ending, she laughed. "The studio hands were yelling, 'Oh come on TINA, turn me on!‘" But after she saw the spot: "I was so disinterested. I was fantastic that day, but on TV I looked like I weighed 150 pounds.'

But TV stations around the country were apparently not so disinterested. In LA, Tina told us, the ad had been switched from morning to late-night schedules, and Carter Wallace, Inc., maker of Pearl Drops, and PGI, the responsible ad agency, were closed-mouthed. At the last minute, we learned that Pearl Drops had dropped the ad entirely.

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