OMG, the oral care category just got interesting!
If anyone, like me, was battling through the crowds first thing in the morning at Waterloo Station last week, you may have been startled to see a very large group of people queuing up to get a free Colgate electric toothbrush, in return for swapping their current electric toothbrush.
In fact, according to reports, some folk were so determined to get their hands on one of these new brushes they started queuing up at 5 am in the morning to ensure they did. (Or perhaps this last point was hyped up a bit by Colgate’s PR Agency…)
And there was much hype. At some point, a bit later on in the morning, the crowds were so big and rowdy with excitement to get hold of one of these amazing toothbrushes, the Colgate staff were told by Waterloo station officials to stop giving them out in case a riot broke out!
So a big win for Colgate and a clever way of getting people to change their behaviour and trial Colgate’s shiny new electric brush, probably switching from a competitive electric toothbrush.
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However, it back fired for Colgate as apparently some people took to twitter and the like, bemoaning the fact they didn’t get an electric toothbrush. So, all in all, it was a bit of a PR disaster for Colgate.
Then, to matters even worse, a competitive electric toothbrush brand, Phillip’s Sonicare, rubbed it in a bit more by producing a brilliant piece of tactical press in the Evening Standard, the like of which we haven’t seen for a while.
In a desperate attempt to try and claw back some credibility, Colgate took the swap online and hiked up the number of electric brushes to give away, and calm was restored in the oral care category once again.
So the lesson here is, if you are going to put on an event and give stuff away, make sure you’ve got enough to give away. Or else you might have an angry mob on your hands…