Close Up unveils flavoured toothpaste

Leading toothpaste brand combines flavours including chocolate and lychee with refreshing mint taste in latest range.

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By  Roger Field Published  May 31, 2006

Close-Up, the GCC’s biggest selling brand of toothpaste, has launched three additional flavours in a bid to consolidate and build on its market leading position. Close Up, which is owned by Unilever and has a market share of about 90% in the region, released its Choco Loco, Tangarine Burst and Lychee toothpastes in late May. “By bringing in new flavours that have never been tasted in toothpaste before, we are using this launch to recruit new users to the brand,” Ahmed Osilan, Close Up’s brand manager for the GCC told Retail News Middle East. “Our vision is to become legends of oral hygiene by leading the market with delicious new flavours and by dominating the top-end channel, which is the key accounts and the big supermarkets. It is available in outlets such as Carrefour, Geant, Spinneys – all the big retail players,” he added. The idea for the new flavours came from a meeting of company managers in which brand managers were invited to pitch ideas to help generate growth for the brand. “In that brain-storming session we came up with the concept of brand flavours,” Osilan said. “These are three additional flavours so we are offering consumers a wide range of products, each delivering on freshness.” Osilan added that the new flavours are in line with the company’s existing products which include Red Hot, Menthol Chill, Cool Breeze, and Lemon with Mint Twist. “They all deliver freshness and confidence and they contain common ingredients across all the variants. They all contain vitamins, fluoride, mouthwash and whiteners,” he said. “Ultimately they are the same in terms of basic functions.” The new flavours are being introduced to consumers in three phases. They will be advertised on TV, radio and by sponsorship in retail outlets including Virgin music stores. In the first phase of the launch, consumers are being invited to test the product with the ‘dare to try’ advertising slogan. The second phase will involve consumers voting for their favourite variant via SMS messages or by voting at in-store booths. The flavour that gains the most votes will become a permanent part of Close Up’s portfolio. The third phase of the campaign is intended to amplify the message to consumers. “This will involve the announcement of the winning variant,” Olisan said. “We will be holding different announcements across the GCC with our key customers. After that we will launch the winning variant and there will be a massive television campaign communicating the winning variant in a celebration type of format.” In the meantime, the three favours will also have a strong presence in supermarkets, not least because each flavour will be present in two positions; in the toothpaste section, and in another part of the store that corresponds with the flavour of the toothpaste. “The Choco Loco product will be stocked alongside chocolate bars and the lychee flavour paste will also be found among the fruit section. It’s to higher the alert,” Osilan said. “In store we are developing some exotic displays. The Lychee flavour toothpaste has displays that look like lychees and the fruit all around it. One of our aims is to run the best ever marketing approach in toothpaste. We’re expecting to generate 6% share gain on the brand with these new variants.” The new toothpaste variants have already been launched in the Philippines, and will also be launched in Lebanon and Syria, Egypt and all of North Africa.

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