Lychee toothpaste wins in Close Up vote

Lychee flavour toothpaste has become a permanent part of the Close Up range after consumers voted for the product at a special event in KSA.

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By  Roger Field Published  December 7, 2006

Lychee-flavoured toothpaste has beaten rival flavours chocolate and tangerine in a marketing campaign from Unilever brand Close Up, which saw consumers vote for their favourite of the three flavours. Lychee flavour toothpaste will now become a staple of the brand’s portfolio. The campaign, which was billed as “The Big Vote” was launched around May, and the election and results were held at a special party in Jeddah in September 2006, with the co-operation of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce (JCCI). “It’s a significant moment in marketing vote campaigns,” said Ahmad Osilan, Close Up brand manager for the GCC. “Close Up posed the question, the public answered in large numbers and the new flavour is now in the range. The idea of responding to our consumers’ demands has just stepped up a gear. They really called the tune on this one.” The campaign, which was supported by promotions in stores, on TV and radio, led consumers to make more than 60,000 votes across the GCC, to choose which toothpaste should become a permanent feature of the Close Up range. More than one million tubes of the special flavours were sold. The celebration event in Jeddah was designed to create a party atmosphere, with people serving chocolates and fruits. The election process was also intended to be entertaining, with costumed actors representing each flavour giving speeches about the merits of their product. The event was accompanied by a sound and light show with ice skaters.“The idea of a public vote was distinguished,” said Omar bin Salem Al-Hibshi, commercial services specialist at the JCCI. “The public got engaged from kick off, to voting in supermarkets, SMS messages and through the internet to this superb ending,” he said. Al-Hibshi added that for the first time ever the public had a real input on a decision of which product they wanted to see in the market. “We wanted to inject an element of fun into a necessary but essentially boring experience,” said Osilan. After the votes were counted, Lychee was announced the winner, then Close Up, with the supervision of the JCCI conducted a prize draw amongst the voters for the winning variant, with prizes including a return flight ticket to Malaysia.

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