To collect the data necessary to effectively coach individual consumers’ tooth brushing habits and, more broadly, to develop innovative new products, Colgate developed a connected, AI-powered electric toothbrush. The brand promoted launch with PR and direct response mobile advertising.
Objective and Context:
With the users’ permission, the new Colgate E1 Connect Toothbrush, allows Colgate to examine and analyze consumers’ teeth brushing data to both provide the user with oral-care coaching and help the brand innovate future products more quickly and intelligently.
Brushing data is stored in the handle and is automatically uploaded to the Colgate app on a user’s iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth. Over time, the learning algorithm develops recommendations based on a user’s individual brushing patterns and shares ways to improve his or her brushing performance. The Check Up feature provides a personalized mouth map to show where a user brushed and where he or she missed, enabling improvement over time.
In addition, the app includes free games to entertain kids by turning the brush into a game controller.
To demonstrate the new product’s benefits for consumers, Colgate sought to illustrate both the importance of feedback to good oral health and technology’s ability to facilitate better health outcomes. The specific goals of the E1 Connect Toothbrush’s launch campaign were to:
While Colgate knew that the product could be used by anybody with teeth, it wanted to establish a strong online presence with early technology adopters, who would be likely to review, share, and promote their experiences with the connected toothbrush. The brand also wished to reach those consumers who were inclined to use connected devices, and who were already comfortable having their daily activity tracked and analyzed.
The Colgate.com/oralcare site is one of the most visited Oral Care information resources in the world, giving Colgate unparalleled access to the active oral care consumer and enabling the brand to survey visitors and develop insights around campaigns and messaging opportunities. Colgate capitalized on its access to the community of oral care consumers to test three messages:
Informed by the results of this research, Colgate focused its post-launch direct response messaging on the product’s AI capabilities, which could help consumers improve their brushing.
Overall Campaign Execution:
The launch campaign consisted of a $125,000 Public Relations activation by Cohn & Wolfe that engaged key influencers to create content related to the product’s launch and its distinctive AI-powered capabilities.
After the PR-only launch, Colgate developed an acquisition strategy for both Facebook and Instagram. This effort capitalized on Facebook targeting data and geo-targeted approaches to focus on locations where there was an Apple store. The budget for this part of the campaign was $300,000, with the majority devoted to mobile.
The success of the E1 Connected Toothbrush project was contingent on mobile and the activation of the product’s iOS application. To maximize the benefits of the electric toothbrush, consumers needed to download and synchronize their toothbrush with their mobile phones. After an initial three-month period of driving sales at the Apple Store, Colgate established a direct-to-consumer acquisition channel. Optimized for mobile as a priority channel, the brand’s direct response advertising has appeared primarily as native and in-app mobile advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
PR efforts delivered 338 million impressions, exceeding the impression goal (25 million) by 358 percent. Of those impressions, 315 million were earned impressions, illustrating the positive response that this campaign generated in the marketplace.