Colgate’s ’red’ poster campaign has made the brand stronger than it was
when using TV alone. Heavier exposure to the posters in the London
region has built stronger brand imagery and helped drive consumer
penetration and loyalty.
The posters have contributed to higher sales and share in the London
region and to lower growth of own-label brands. The ’red’ campaign has
created approximately three times more profit than it cost.
In 1994, Colgate learned that Sainsbury’s planned to launch a new oral
care range. As the best-selling brand, Colgate had the most to lose.
The relationship housewives have with Colgate had become mostly
emotional; it was not believed to make a material difference to their
families’ dental health. Consumers were likely to give the new
Sainsbury’s products a try, thinking ’all toothpastes are pretty much
the same’. So the strategy was to increase loyalty by making mothers
more aware of the importance of choosing the best toothpaste in order to
protect their families’ teeth.
The target audience was defined as all housewives aged 25-44, especially
those who might be tempted by the new own-label range.
The creative proposition was that Colgate is the better protector.
Posters were selected for two key reasons. First, the campaign was based
initially on dentists’ endorsements of Colgate and this message could
not be communicated on TV as the Independent Television Commission rules
out professional endorsement. Second, posters were an unused medium in
this category, so this provided an opportunity to take a higher ’share
of mind’ against the brand’s competitors.
The campaign has run from 1995 to date. It achieved recognition scores
of 49 per cent - an exceptionally high figure. Correct attribution was
81 per cent (the personal care category average is only 33 per
Research suggests that the posters have communicated strategic brand
messages - not just increased saliency.
Heavier poster exposure led to stronger Colgate brand imagery in
Consumer penetration grew at a slightly faster rate in London but
loyalty grew much more, reflecting the strategy.
In keeping with these improvements, sales and share grew more strongly
in London while own-label growth has been slower. Sales of Colgate
through Sainsbury’s increased following the own-label launch - for the
first time, Colgate’s sales exceeded pounds 1million a month. Share
losses have been diverted to other brands.
The extra Colgate sales in London are not due to heavier promotions,
lower price, increased distribution, heavier PR or lower competitive
activity.Taking the incremental gains of the poster upweight as being
sales above share performance in the rest of the country, the posters
paid for themselves three times over.
Title: Colgate ’red’ campaign: dentist’s drill, dental practice, tools
of the trade, open wide
Client: Ric Lovell, marketing director, Colgate Palmolive
Agency: Young & Rubicam
Board Account Planner: Kathy Wood
Media Planner: Selina Firth
Account Director: Lynn Bentley
Creative Director: Mike Cozens
Art Directors: Graeme Norways, Majella Lewis
Copywriters: Paul Catmur, Rob Porteus
Typographer: Christian Tunstall
Illustrators: James Marsh, Paul Slater
Outdoor Specialist: Concord
Printers: Bovince, St Michael’s Press, Posterprint