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“We treat rural and urban India as a similar aspiration”

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NEW DELHI : Colgate-Palmolive India recently relaunched a number of toothpaste brands, reinforcing what it calls positive, distinct and motivating memories. In an interview, Arvind Chintamani, VP, Marketing, talked about raises, using influencers, and marketing in rural and urban markets. Edited excerpts:

We’ve seen Colgate relaunch a bunch of its key brands in the market. What motivated this exercise?

Building a brand is like building a memory structure in people’s minds. You want your memory structure to be positive, distinct, and motivating. While your brand is a set of positive and distinct associations and motivating associations, a product fulfills that as well. For us, raises are very critical events because ultimately, we are a brand building organization.

Recently we re-launched Colgate Strong Teeth, which is our flagship toothpaste. It is the No. 1 toothpaste in India and one of the most widely used and distributed products in the country. It is purchased or used by over 600 million people each year. What we had to do with the raise is bring to light the fact that tooth strength is an essential part of your digestive process. It may sound simple, but I don’t think many people realize that tooth strength can make a difference in the quality of chewing and, therefore, in the quality of nutrition. So for the revival, we have Shahid Kapoor and progressive men/fathers spreading the word across the country. We also relaunched Colgate Vedshakti, which is a portfolio of toothpastes, mouth sprays and oil pullers. If you see this portfolio, the message is very simple, it talks about your overall health, not just your mouth. The other thing we have been doing continuously for four or five years is telling stories of optimism and doing it under the banner of Smile Karo Aur Shuru ho Jao, in Hindi and different languages. It is Colgate’s main brand that lives its philosophy. We recently put a new story of Kiran Kanojia who is India’s first female blade runner.

Has the pandemic shifted more advertising dollars to digital?

For us, being chosen as a brand means being mentally and physically available. If our consumers are mentally spending more time on digital content and physically spending more time performing digital transactions, we need to devote more time and attention to digital. We have opened a direct to consumer platform – cpbrush.co.in – where we exclusively sell electric toothbrushes and we are seeing a phenomenal response to it. So we do a lot of things both from a content and transactional perspective, that is, on e-commerce platforms. India is a very interesting country – as the growth of digital events, TV audiences have also increased over this period. Their time share may have changed, but the number of people watching traditional media has actually increased. What guides us is the philosophy of integrated brand experiences across media, touchpoints and messages. This doesn’t mean you repeat about e-commerce, what you’ve put on TV, etc., but to tailor your communication to the medium to create seamless and consistent messaging across touchpoints that helps your communication structure. memory.

Does television receive the largest share of media spending?

We don’t give our numbers, but from the perspective of reach frequency in the country right now, television is the single most important medium of reach for certain types of communication. So we use both TV and digital media…mainly mobile in India, for different kinds of messages. I’ll give you an example of rural, it’s very interesting to constantly see how rural India has evolved. People confuse the rural Indian consumer with a fundamentally different construct, but people in rural India are increasingly consuming the same content and increasingly accessing the same media. Differences, if any, continue to be about access. We are increasingly using technology to conduct consumer research in rural India, as we now have tools to talk to people in different parts of the country on a day’s notice.

More importantly, we are treating rural India and urban India as similar aspirations… Also, through digital reach, we are able to have a more focused reach.

You recently launched a campaign on introducing influencers; are influencers becoming the key to your marketing ecosystem?

Two and a half months ago we ran the Visible White O2 campaign; and we did it with Toshada Uma, Dolly Singh and Prarthana Jagan. Not just from a branding perspective, but from a business perspective, it works really well. This reinforced our belief that influencers, if used appropriately and authentically to empower the people who look up to them, we can derive enormous value from them.

Society has changed, culture has changed, and brands change with culture. For us, influencer marketing is a way to bring value to people’s lives, whether they are urban or rural matters less to us, but rather what their aspirations are.

Will we see more premium launches from Colgate?

Nine out of 10 Indian households buy from us every year. We need to talk to every segment of the country. We firmly believe that everyone deserves a future they can smile about; these are words that we thought about very carefully

. So for Colgate, in our DNA, the democratic nature of what we do is extremely critical. For us, it’s not just premium; premium is the end result of what we provide.

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