Cristiano Ronaldo, the soccer star who plays for Real Madrid–and who scored the last-second equalizer against the US in the World Cup–is lending his fame, his talent, and his world-famous smile to endorse an unusual product. His new commercial for Facial Fitness Pao might be less baffling if you read Japanese, but I’m not so sure.

“I Love a Smiling Face”

Facial Fitness Pao seems to be some kind of smile enhancer, not cosmetic dentistry, but a way to exercise your smile muscles. At least, that seems to be the intent, from what I can tell about the commercial, in which Ronaldo shows that he knows what to do with a soccer ball before being presented with the Facial Fitness Pao, about which he seems to have no clue. He plays with it a little bit, then the camera cuts to other people demonstrating the device.

The device looks a little bit like the head of a hammerhead shark or the aliens from Pitch Black, has a mouthpiece in the middle and two weighted ends that extend off to either side. Apparently, you are supposed to move your head around and create a flapping motion with the device that allows you to fly. No, strike that. None of the people seem to take off.

Instead, after a little bit of bopping around, they take the device out, smile, and rub their cheeks as if . . . yes, I guess it exercises the face muscles. Probably with the intent of improving the smile or potentially heading off age. And then Ronaldo laughs and smiles, probably because they just showed him how much he’s making for what seems to be a few seconds of outtakes.

Unhappy with Your Smile?

The Japanese are crazy with interesting ideas for improving their smiles, partly as a means to improving their customer service (consider, for example, their smile scanner). Partly, this is because they are the nation that’s been found to smile the least.

In the US, we have lots more practice with our smiles, but that doesn’t mean we’re more confident in them. We just have a different problem: are the teeth we show enough attractive or do they reflect badly on our health and appearance?

If you’re unhappy with your smile, please call 803-781-9090 for an appointment with a Columbia, SC cosmetic dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry today.