Women’s toothpaste promises ageless smile

So what's the story?
You just know there had to be non-stop smiling at Procter & Gamble's Cincinnati headquarters when they came up with this one: for-women-only toothpaste. Dubbed 'Crest Rejuvenating Effects,' it's a tingly, teal-coloured, vanilla- and cinnamon-flavoured concoction that comes in chic iridescent packaging. Target demo: 30-44.

So what’s the story?

You just know there had to be non-stop smiling at Procter & Gamble’s Cincinnati headquarters when they came up with this one: for-women-only toothpaste. Dubbed ‘Crest Rejuvenating Effects,’ it’s a tingly, teal-coloured, vanilla- and cinnamon-flavoured concoction that comes in chic iridescent packaging. Target demo: 30-44.

What’s the marketing hook and who’s delivering it?

Pretty much a fountain of youth for ‘female teeth.’ (Who knew?) Designed by New York City-based Bcom3 Group’s D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, the tagline for the US$70 million print and TV campaign is: ‘Who says you can’t have an ageless smile?’

Says Diane Dietz, Crest’s North American marketing director, ‘We’ve worked hard to push toothpaste to a next level – beauty…. We are delivering to women more than just toothpaste, but a treatment that will maximize their smile care ritual.’

Whose choppers were deemed ideal?

The pearly whites that helped propel Vanessa Williams to Miss America status (albeit short-lived) and then to a singing and acting career have made her product pitchwoman. She will participate in some of the numerous planned publicity events, which will include sampling in health clubs, spas and resorts.

How was the women-only concept developed and tweaked?

Dietz told the Wall Street Journal that, during focus groups for P&G’s Olay Total Effects anti-wrinkle cream, female consumers expressed a desire for an equivalent product for their teeth. Deciding that the concept had what Hollywood calls legs, company researchers had women brush with multiple flavours of toothpaste and then decide which taste seemed the most feminine.

Is this as goofy as it sounds?

There’s nothing goofy about finding a lucrative, completely untapped marketing niche that just begs for a sequel: men-only toothpaste. And it’s hard to argue with debuting something so provocative that it garners more than 120 major media hits, including CNN and MSNBC, during rollout week alone.

The bad news

Sorry. Crest Rejuvenating Effects began hitting U.S. shelves last month. But Canadian women’s smiles will have to keep on aging for the foreseeable future because P&G has no distribution plans yet for north of the border.