They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but only brushing twice a day keeps the dentist away. And that is the reason why the toothpaste industry in India is a 750 crore market. You might have mint, salt or fluoride in your tooth paste and even have a separate bubble gum flavor for the kids (young and old) in the house, but you can’t ignore the fact that your toothpaste is the first thing you kiss good morning…and if you don’t, umm, euww!
The giants of the industry are Oral-B, Colgate, Pepsodent and Close-Up. Brands like Sensodyne, Dabur (Meswak, Promise, Dabur Red) or Vicco also have a considerable market share that of course can’t be ignored, but their social media presence is almost invisible and can be described as rudimentary at best.
Back to the morning routine, the thing you do after brushing your teeth is probably checking your mail and checking Facebook. These brands have obviously used this insight to their advantage. Facebook is the primary social media playground of all brands and performing well here seems to come naturally to them.
The Unmetric score is the first ever sector aware social media benchmark score that blends qualitative and quantitative metrics to rank a brand against its competitors. Colgate, with their ongoing promotions of their Visible White toothpaste, tops the chart with the highest score of 38 for the period 15th May 2013-15th July 2013.
Facebook analysis of toothpaste brands
Even in terms of fan numbers and fan growth, Colgate is way ahead of the rest. It’s interesting to note that while the fans of all these brands are predominantly male, Pepsodent alone has a perfect 50:50 ratio. Even in terms of age, a major part of the fans of Pepsodent are middle aged and even a small percentage of their fans are over 60, whereas 95% of the fans of all other brands are below 30 years of age.
Facebook is all about having your fans Like, Comment and Share content. In spite of posting fewer times than Pepsodent and Oral-B, Colgate managed to engage the best with its fans followed by Close-Up. All brands use a good number of engagement oriented posts; other than that Colgate posts a lot around Sonam Kapoor (their current brand ambassador for the Visible White toothpaste), Close-up weaves in a lot of Bollywood in to their content, Pepsodent uses their “Tales We Tell Our Kids” cartoon series and other such child targeted content (probably to catch the attention of the parents who’ve liked the page given the relatively older demographic that likes the brand), and Oral- B has created exclusive content to promote their Twitter Hashtags, in-house dentists and general oral care.
Speaking of admin posts, these brands are posting content round the clock. Having interesting content is one thing, finding the right time to post them so the fans can view them is another. All these brands have a well spread out posting routine. They are active 9-9, and in some instances even in the midnight. This combination of good content and right timing definitely adds to a strong social strategy.
Twitter analysis of toothpaste brands
Colgate is completely overthrown by Oral-B when it comes to Twitter. In fact Colgate doesn’t even have a unified Twitter handle, its presence on Twitter is split by their MaxFresh handle and Plax Mouthwash handle. Not only does Oral-B have the most followers, they’ve also grown by almost 60%.
While the Twitter handle of Pepsodent gathers cyber dust and the sparsely used Colgate and Close-Up stay stagnant with stunted growth, Oral-B has been tweeting over 9 times a day with over 580 tweets in a period of 2 months. 41% of their Tweets have been Replies and their Average Reply Time is just over an hour and a half. Their success on Twitter is probably owed to the promotion of their recently launched Pro health toothpaste.
YouTube analysis of toothpaste brands
The stats change again when it comes to YouTube. The medium is rather under used and it is the TVCs that are mainly uploaded to the channels. Brand ambassador news is the other common kind of video upload. Sadly, Close Up doesn’t have a YouTube channel.
Colgate has the most number of videos and was also the one to add the most new videos in the time period analyzed. A good number of the videos uploaded are user stories.
To sum it all up Colgate seems to be mastering both Facebook and YouTube while Oral-B has taken custody over Twitter. In spite of the similarity in their products and the highly clogged market segment, these brands have succeeded in positioning themselves uniquely even in the social space.
While traditional media is the apple of the eye for many FMCG brands, the power of social media remains latent and waits for these categories to harness it. With simple yet powerful strategies, these and the other brands can exponentially increase their consumer reach and it might even help them bring in product improvements and better customer insights.
While these brands dive deeper in to social media, it’s time for me to flaunt my pearly whites and all that’s left to do is to say ‘Cheeeese’!
Disclosure: Unmetric is an advertiser at Lighthouse Insights.