Agency: Young & Rubicam Authors: Kathy Wood and Tim Broadbent

Colgate: the science behind the smile


This case history shows how advertising helped Colgate achieve its highest-ever share of the UK toothpaste market.

The decisive factor was the introduction of Colgate brand advertising in 1995. Brand advertising together with product advertising has been more sales-effective than product advertising alone.

This is potentially a useful piece of learning about how different kinds of advertising work, which is a primary objective of these Awards1 . Brand advertising budgets are under threat because of an increasing tendency to evaluate advertising in terms of its immediate sales effects. There is of course nothing wrong with short term gains, but they are not necessarily the most profitable advertising effects.