Last month I was invited to a brunch that was held by Colgate announcing that in the lead up to Oral Health Month, Colgate have been voted as the most trusted brand and most trusted Oral Health Brand in Australia. (Reader’s Digest 2011, conducted by McCrindle Research)
Quite the achievement. Which got me thinking how long does a brand need to market themselves, in order to be voted ‘most trusted brand’.
Initiatives such as Oral Health Month and being in partnership with the Australian Dental Association (ADA) certainly help. As are other campaigns such as the Bright Smiles Bright Future initiative which is aimed at encouraging children to take care of their teeth.
And the key is if you can get the kids to recognize Colgate and trust them, then that will go long way to ensuring loyalty in years to come.
And it was here that the Colgate people brought out the big guns.
Remember Mrs Marsh with her purple liquid and chalk? Out came Mrs Marsh herself to talk to us and I tell you the whole room just gasped. That was Mrs Marsh; she was like a second mum to all of us. We instantly felt 12 again. And all those warm and fuzzy feelings came flooding back.
The Mrs Marsh campaign, that ran during the 1970’s and 1980’s, along with the ‘liquid gets into chalk’ demonstration was genius. It was instantly memorable and recognizable and as soon as I told family and friends that I met Mrs Marsh, they all quoted me “like this liquid gets into chalk”.
See how convincing kids can go a long way in future market share?
Now I can’t tell you if the ad campaign was marketed at parents or kids because to watch these ads back now, Mrs Marsh does impart a lot of information about the usefulness of the product, especially in the early television advertisements. Boring for kids, but we kids got a kick out of the liquid and chalk. And the campaign worked.
Mrs Marsh became a sort of hero if you like; a champion of good causes.
Today Colgate uses Dr Rabbit in the Bright Smiles Bright Futures initiative to appeal to the kids.
Let’s face it, brushing our teeth is probably one of the most boring things you can do during your day. But, no-one will deny, one of the most necessary.
Putting a hero on a product has an enormous affect when it comes to messages received by kids and we’re not just talking about toothpaste. So much so that The Australian Association of National Advertisers Code for Advertising and Marketing Communications to Children that states that:
2.11 Popular Personalities
Advertising or Marketing Communications to Children must not use popular personalities or celebrities (live or animated) to advertise or market Products or Premiums in a manner that obscures the distinction between commercial promotions and program or editorial content.
The Australian Food and Grocery Council states that:
Participants will not advertise food and beverage products to children under 12 in media unless:
1. those products represent healthy dietary choices, consistent with established scientific or Australian government standards.
2. the advertising and/or marketing communication activities reference, or are in the context of a healthy lifestyle, designed to appeal to the intended audience through messaging that ?encourages:
– good dietary habits, consistent with established scientific or government criteria?- physical activity.
Use of Popular Personalities and Licensed Characters
Participants will not use Popular Personalities, program characters or Licensed characters’ in advertising primarily directed to children under 12 unless such advertising complies with the messaging options set out above. This is in addition to the requirements under Children’s Television Standards 2009 covering C and P periods (CTS section 35).
These guidelines are specific for food and beverage but it illustrates just how pervasive using a hero can be when advertising, especially to children.
Does that mean Colgate is exempt from the regulation? They do use Dr Rabbit and essentially toothpaste is a good thing.
Now I really don’t think Colgate had any untoward agenda using the Mrs Marsh campaign and they probably don’t with Dr Rabbit. They just want to sell their product and they are doing it in a way that does benefit everyone is some small way. Whether it be giving kids a reachable goal with printable worksheets, or the free toothpaste that I usually get every time I visit the dentist; I am well aware of how I am being marketed to and people are becoming more media savvy and can see how advertising and marketing works.
To be voted ‘Most Trusted Brand’ takes years of cultivating a relationship between the consumers and the brand to build that trust.
For me, I think the next step to maintaining that trust is transparency in advertising and the brand’s effort and involvement to give back to society.
Do you think Colgate does those things?