Colgate plans full-scale attack for new brush

Colgate-Palmolive Canada, No. 4 in the toothbrush market, is poised to improve its ranking with its new Precision toothbrush.Precision has been on store shelves since early August, but the advertising launch is just getting under way this week with a 30-second...

Colgate-Palmolive Canada, No. 4 in the toothbrush market, is poised to improve its ranking with its new Precision toothbrush.

Precision has been on store shelves since early August, but the advertising launch is just getting under way this week with a 30-second tv spot and dental inserts in Maclean’s, L’Actualite, Chatelaine and Modern Woman magazines.

The advertising concentrates on the new bristle configuration of Precision as an aid in combatting gum disease.

Precision has three types of bristle: an angled outer bristle to attack plaque along the gumline, a long inner bristle to clean between teeth, and a short bristle for tooth surfaces.

Other marketing plans include in-store demonstrations, displays, and on-shelf brochures and coupons.

A direct mail campaign to the dental profession brings Precision together with Total, the company’s new anti-bacterial toothpaste, which is also receiving a September launch.

Before the introduction of Precision, Colgate-Palmolive held 14.6% of the toothbrush market. Its goal is to be No. 1 with a 25% share.

The companies it needs to beat are Butler, 21.5%; Oral-B, 17.4%; and Reach from Johnson & Johnson, 16.5%.

The other contenders are Jordan, with 7.8%, and generic or store brands with 11.5%, a decline of 35% over last year.

Margo Leach, Colgate-Palmolive assistant product manager, oral care, says consumers are not price-conscious about toothbrushes because most replace them less than once a year.

Leach says growth will come from the company’s increased focus on the retailer.

In its campaign to win important retailer support, Colgate-Palmolive has produced promotional material that describes Precision’s clinically tested results and promises that it ‘removes up to twice the plaque, or we’ll give your customers twice their money back.’

Advertising for Precision comes from Young & Rubicam, with promotional material from Marketing & Promotion Group, both of Toronto.