Re-generating a mature market
A SmithKline Beecham case study

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Page 4: Advertising

Smithkline Beecham 2 Image 3The advertising agency found the personality for the campaign: a real Dr.Best, a professor of dentistry. In this capacity, he had also added value to the development team by bringing in his broad experience. The great advantage of the real Dr.Best was that he was tremendously convincing as an expert in the field of dental care. The character, coupled with the clear and visible benefits of the product, provided a winning formula.

It was at this time that a hitch arose in the preparation for the launch. Lingner + Fischer’s preferred supplier announced that the firm would require nine months’ lead time to produce the new toothbrushes. A meeting was arranged to discuss the problem. The manufacturer was cautious about the new development because of the substantial involvement of new technology. It had been producing “blue” test samples and was at this time unaware that there was another firm also producing samples. During the meeting the marketing manager for Lingner + Fischer placed the second manufacturer’s toothbrush on the table - it was a red one! Realising that there was an alternative manufacturer competing for the order, the preferred supplier realised the importance of fast action, in order to help the product launch keep to budgeted time schedules.

The creative advertisement

In preparing the advertising campaign the agency put forward the idea that if something as delicate as a raw egg could be brushed without actually damaging it, this would show how effective the brush would be on the gums. The next stage was to move on from the egg to a tomato which, with its brittle red skin, was found to be the perfect way of demonstrating the gentleness of the brush.

Two advertisements were consumer tested, the one with the tomato and one with a computer-style demonstration, both using Dr.Best as presenter. The tomato demonstration was far more convincing. Research using the advertisement showed that it had one of the strongest impacts on the buying intention of consumers ever measured in Germany.

Typically, SmithKline Beecham test market all their new products by bringing together all of the successful ingredients of a campaign in a particular area, such as a television region. However, in this instance, there was not sufficient time to go through with this process before the launch.

SmithKline Beecham | Re-generating a mature market
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