Smile Team: We’re smile nerds


Specialist orthodontic group Smile Team and creative agency Keep Left are spreading smiles with a campaign that makes it hard to suppress your smile.

Smile Team is a group of expert orthodontists with more than five decades of experience in creating confident and beautiful smiles. In 2023, Smile Team engaged Keep Left with a brand challenge symptomatic of the industry known as ‘the referral cliff’ – Smile Team was losing referrals as more dentists offered orthodontic treatments.

Keep Left was charged with creating a campaign to get people to re-evaluate who they trusted as the experts in orthodontic treatment while positioning Smile Team as the best place to seek advice.

Keep Left Strategy Director Laura Agricola said: “After speaking with the audience – parents considering orthodontic treatment for their kids – one thing became clear: giving their children the best chance at feeling confident about their smiles was a significant motivator. This created an emotional and interesting creative space for the brand to play.”

Science says smiling boosts endorphins, eases tension, relieves anxiety, and lowers the heart rate. Thanks to facial mimicry, smiles are also contagious.

To get a ‘dream smile’, you need a specialist, which is where Smile Team comes in. Unlike dentists, orthodontists spend 3 extra years studying to create the perfect smile. Which you could say makes them ‘smile nerds’. In today’s culture, being labelled a nerd is a badge of honour highlighting intellect and passion.

Agricola said: “We needed a hook to drive home Smile Team’s expertise. The idea of ‘Smile Nerds’ delivered that, enabling us to weave a narrative around the team’s unwavering passion for smiles, but in a way the audience could relate to.”

At the heart of the campaign is a 60-second film featuring Smile Team orthodontists bouncing on space hoppers, much to the amusement of a passer-by who can’t help but smile.

Keep Left Executive Creative Director Blair Kimber said: “Nerd culture thrives on the unconventional, the quirky, and the fun. This cultural truth became the bedrock of the campaign. Leaning into that tone allowed us to deliver a story that stood out from the rest of the category and, most importantly made people smile.”

The campaign will roll out across cinema, TV, out-of-home, and digital with static executions that show the Smile Team’s nerdy obsession in a variety of ways.

Smile Orthodontics General Manager John Brett said: “This is such a fun campaign that showcases the personality of our brand. More importantly, it shows that behind Smile Team’s orthodontic excellence is a team with a sincere desire to build authentic connections with patients.”

Kimber added: “The process has been truly collaborative and has further strengthened our partnership with Smile Team. It’s been nice to tap into our inner nerd as well and smile while we do it.”