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How Colgate Made $64.9 Billion By Promoting Perfect Smiles

Monique Danao
Monique Danao
July 20, 2017
2 min read
How Colgate Made $64.9 Billion By Promoting Perfect Smiles

Colgate is famous around the world.

The brand is known for enabling individuals to have perfect smiles and exceptional teeth.

In fact, Forbes notes that the brand is worth $64.9 billion!

How did Colgate become the most famous product in the oral care industry? In part, through digital marketing strategies that focused on helping consumers achieve perfect smiles and oral education.

1. The Smile Show - collaborated with influencers to create YouTube videos

What happens when brands and YouTube collide?

You get fun and actionable branded content that's compelling to watch.

This is exactly what happened to Colgate when it integrated YouTube in its digital strategy, in order to target millennials.

"In the past, we've tried to hit millennials over the head in TV and print. When we looked at reaching and connecting with them where they really are, YouTube was the logical place to go." said Philip Durocher, Vice-President & General Manager of Colgate Palmolive NA Oral Care.

The  Smile Show is a series of videos promoting Colgate. The brand collaborated with YouTubers Andrea Brooks and Blair Fowler; and amassed 24M views.

"We wanted to connect the traditional with the digital in a meaningful way and let people know that we're turning to these influencers not just as spokespeople, but also just as triers and commentators on what this product can do for your smile." said Scott.

The brand's dedication to create authentic content has led Andrea and Blair to share beauty and fashion tips that can help viewers accentuate their smile. Each of these videos feature Colgate’s products.

Promotions took place on desktop and mobile devices via the  YouTube masthead, TrueView ads, Hangout on Air, GDN banners, and a YouTube channel gadget.

These efforts proved to be worth it.

The video series obtained unbelievable brand metrics. It led to  a 13% increase in brand awareness, a 10.8% increase in purchase consideration and a 1116% increase in brand interest!

Who knew that a video series that aimed to accentuate smiles, would be a massive hit? Not until Colgate came I bet.

2. Turned a Photoshop Disaster Into A Standout Campaign

Can you tell what's wrong with the following photos?

colgate marketing

[caption id="attachment_22866" align="aligncenter" width="600"]

Colgate ad

Source: Fstoppers[/caption]

I bet you didn't notice anything besides their teeth.

What you have missed is this: the woman first photo has six fingers, and there's an extra arm around the guy in the second.

But, why didn't you notice them first?

Food left on the teeth, is a lot more noticeable than you think. This is the message that Colgate wants to impart in its ad.

By highlighting the importance of brushing and flossing, Colgate is able to make viewers stop and stare. This way, its consumers can understand why flossing everyday is important.

3. Maha Kumbh Mela - used location-based targeting to reach consumers

For starters, Maha Kumbh Mela is a large spiritual gathering of Hindu pilgrims.

Colgate wanted to tap into this new market. They understood that most of Hindu pilgrims In their target area had low literacy rates. This is why they used voice-based communications through a mobile phone to promote their products.

The brand created a virtual circle around the pilgrimage site and  used location-based targeting to reach its target audience. As such, when pilgrims entered the circle, they received a call from Amin Sayani-- an Indian radio personality. Amin tells these pilgrims to visit the Colgate booth to receive free samples and a chance to win prizes.

The results? Colgate’s booth experienced a 300 percent increase in foot traffic compared to its pre-promotion period. Overall, the campaign attracted 700,000 visitors!

Now that, is how you advertise a booth.

4. Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Future programs - provided free dental screenings and oral health education to 900 million children

Colgate is a prime example of a business with a successful advocacy.

Colgate's Bright Smiles, Bright Future program is one of the most far-reaching advocacies in the world. The program provides free dental screenings and oral health education.

Colgate dental screenings
Image: Colgate


The brand's program includes multicultural education materials that let children know how they can achieve healthy teeth and gums. In the US, Colgate's program includes a fleet of mobile dental vans that travel across 50 states to provide free dental screening and education.

The brand’s advocacy has made a huge impact around the world. In fact, it's campaign has reached 900 million children across 80 countries!

Now this, is how you combine business and advocacy.

Here are a few lessons that we’ve learned from Colgate’s success:

  • Collaborate with YouTube influencers
  • Be witty and creative
  • Use location-based targeting
  • Support an advocacy
Monique Danao
Monique Danao

Monique Danao is a writer and content creator with an expertise in marketing and SEO. When she's not writing, you'll find her enjoying funky food, listening to music and marketing startups.

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