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Pepsodent, Colgate, Closeup fail to brush up consumer connect on social

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Pepsodent, Colgate, Closeup fail to brush up consumer connect on social

While comparative advertising is not a new phenomenon, the latest ad campaign of Pepsodent, wherein the toothpaste brand directly takes on category leader Colgate, has been generating a lot of buzz.

Pegged at Rs 5,050 crore, the toothpaste market in India has been growing at a rate of about 19 per cent per annum. The branded toothpaste sector in India has been seeing competition intensifying in recent times with the entry of Procter & Gamble’s global brand Oral-B. In a bid to retain their loyal consumers and consolidate their market shares, the major players are now beefing up their marketing and advertising plans.

While Colgate-Palmolive India is sharpening its focus on innovative products and oral care programmes, Hindustan Unilever is betting big on star power and mobile communications to promote its flagship brand Closeup.

Social media is playing a vital role in this intensified marketing battle. exchange4media takes a look at how Colgate, Pepsodent and Closeup are leveraging social media to stay ahead of the game.

Pespsodent’s competitive advertisement garners ‘negative’ attention 
Pespsodent has posted its print advertisement on its Facebook page, which has over one million fans. The ad shows two kids brushing their teeth with Colgate and Pepsodent, with both packs clearly visible. When the children take a cavity test, the voiceover says that Pepsodent Germicheck is ‘130% behtar’, or superior to Colgate, when it comes to germ attack.

The post went on to create negative conversations against the brand, garnering over 2,312 likes and over 100 comments. On YouTube, the TVC got over 392,513 views in the last five days, while on Twitter the brand has negligible presence. Pepsodent has also created a separate microsite for the same, which merely gives information about the campaign. Overall, apart having from a large social community base, Pespodent hasn’t created a significant impact on social media.

Watch the campaign here…

Colgate adopts a ‘vanilla’ promotion
Colgate India has separate Facebook pages for each of its sub-brands, including Colgate Max Fresh India, Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief India and Colgate Plax India. All these pages have built a huge community around themselves with interesting campaigns running on Facebook. However, it may be noted that the official Colgate India page is using vanilla promotion. Though this community is over a million strong, there aren’t any attractive social conversations.

The content revolves around children, brushing and flossing tips, dentist advice, key to a healthy smile and so on. The global Facebook community is also along similar lines. There are no integrated campaigns in these big brand communities. The page keeps its audience engaged with frequent updates and opinion polls. Colgate, too, doesn’t have an active Twitter and YouTube community.

Closeup tries to strike a ‘young’ conversation
Post the promotions of the movie ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’, where at the start of the movie Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone were seen all over Closeup’s social space, the brand has been keeping a low profile in its social media push.

The brand that has more than 1.1 million fans on Facebook and the last initiative that the brand undertook was a series called ‘Friendship band’. This activity was rolled out during the Friendship week, earlier in August 2013. The brand also created a music video for the same, which can be viewed on YouTube.

Along with the music video, a special microsite has been created to take this campaign forward. The objective is to strike a conversation with the young target group and be a part of their conversations. As part of the ‘Friendship band’ initiative, Closeup gave a chance to young adults to express their love to someone that they have always wanted to convey.

Watch the campaign here…

While the major toothpaste brands have sizeable communities on social media platforms, they haven’t been able to create any impressive campaigns or conversations.


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Prior to joining Madison PR in 2012 Chaudhary was Group President Corporate Communications at Reliance Industries Limited.