It has been a long time since I wrote an update about Pepsodent. Although the brand has been very active in the media with different campaign , there was no clutter-breaking stuff to write about. Some times consistency can be boring.
Ever since the launch in 1993, Pepsodent has been trying hard to break into the stronghold of Colgate in the Rs 3000 crore Indian Oral Care market. Despite being a powerful brand with the powerful backing of HUL, Pepsodent is still hovering at around 13 % marketshare compared to around 52% share of Colgate.
Pepsodent so far has been very consistent with its positioning and differentiation. Although the brand started its journey positioning on Mouth Wash proposition, it quickly identified the flaw in taking that stance. Soon the brand began to take the position of a germ killing toothpaste. It had stuck to the positioning ever since.
The most memorable campaign of Pepsodent so far was the Dishoom Dishoom campaign which catapulted the brand to the position of a worthy competitor of Colgate. HUL has been tweaking the germicheck advantage using various campaigns all these years.The brand also had its range of variants like Pepsodent Complete and also Pepsodent Whitening.
The recent campaigns of Pepsodent was centered around interesting conversations among kids and also between Mother and Child. The brand had earlier tried to attack Colgate directly through ads which highlighted the claim that Pepsodent fights 10 tooth problems compared to competitors' 5 ( watch the ad ). The other campaign highlighted the common fear of mother about her child's dental health.
In 2010, the brand had made a significant investment in bringing Shah Rukh Khan as the brand ambassador for Pepsodent. The brand is running two TVC featuring SRK
Watch : Pepsodent 1
The campaign revolves around the theme of interaction between a Father and Son ( Papa and Pappu) . SRK as father convincing his son about the importance of brushing the teeth with Pepsodent. The ads are quite nicely made .
The question is whether a celebrity like SRK will ad any significant value to the brand as such. SRK is a very powerful celebrity and the impact of such a powerful celebrity endorsement cannot be discounted. Especially kids will be very much influenced by this endorsement and a probable pester-power can spike the sales of the brand in the short-term.
But whether SRK will help the brand scale the next level is debatable. The presence of SRK only makes the campaign more interesting other than that there is nothing significant either in the message or in execution. The impact of SRK 'e endorsements will be more at the store level if HUL is able to use SRK at the POP and store-level promotions.
Despite having a differentiating factor like " Germ Killing Property " it is interesting to note that Pepsodent was not able to pose a significant threat to Colgate. My hypothesis is that although Pepsodent has established a Point of Difference, it has not been able to establish Points of Parity with Colgate. Colgate still has a strong acceptance as a toothpaste that prevents tooth decay and Pepsodent so far has not been able to establish itself in that attribute.
Pepsodent will do well if it could use SRK to establish Points of Parity with Colgate rather than trying to reinforce the already strong Germicheck Point of Difference.