The key objective was to boost sales of Sensodyne during the summer months, a competitive period while every category will take place in the ad market.
Our communication had to educate consumers about the nature of their sensitive teeth and trigger immediate sales.
Many Chinese think that experiencing the “sensitive tooth” pain is part and parcel of eating cold food. We wanted to change this misconception – and show them that Sensodyne could cure them of this discomfort.
Of course, sensitive teeth are a year-round condition – and so a remedy, such as Sensodyne, would be relevant throughout the entire year.
However, there are certain types of food that are especially prone to trigger the symptoms – among them cold food in particular.
Over 65% of Chinese consumers experience sensitive teeth, but only 15% of them use special sensitive teeth toothpaste. Most of the sufferers see the symptoms they experience as natural reactions to certain foods.
Especially when it comes to cold food, many Chinese think that experiencing sore teeth is normal, just as a light sweat is normal when eating hot food.
And as this is only a momentary reaction, they tend to "shrug it off" and just pass it off as trivial discomfort in their daily lives that they quickly forget.
Thus, in order to push sales, the key challenge for us was to first make people aware of the fact that they have a condition that can be treated – and then to offer Sensodyne as the solution.
Our strategy was to leverage the fact that cold food – and drinks – are more likely to be consumed in the summer. And then to go where the pain is …
To make people actively aware of their condition in the most memorable and impactful way, we decided to interrupt their everyday routines … and to highlight their pain-points. Of course, we needed to do this within the most relevant context – specifically time and place – in order to create powerful and lasting memory structures.
We set out to educate consumers right at the point of consumption, to make them actively aware of their sensitive teeth during the moments right before, during, and immediately after the discomfort. Our strategy was to remind them that teeth sensitivity is a recurring pain point in their daily lives that is completely preventable – and that Sensodyne was the easy solution.
The context we selected was where the pain occurred most often: when people consume ice-cold drinks. This was the moment we wanted to invade – but the challenge was for us to be present when this moment happened. How could we deliver a branded message when people were sipping their refreshments?
Traditionally, brands in this space – including Sensodyne – have tried to deliver their messages in "related" environments (food TV shows, when outside temperatures went up, etc.). But nobody really tried to be "in the moment".
Our strategy was to look for – or better yet, create – a medium that would allow us to do just that. A new medium that would enable us to own and to brand the moment when cold drinks lead to teeth discomfort – and give us the opportunity to educate consumers about the remedy.
Our solution was to use one of the most commonplace vehicles around drinks – the cardboard holder tray – and turn it into a communications medium.
Nobody had ever thought of branding the delivery "tray", i.e. the cardboard holder you get when you order 2 or more drinks at coffee shops .
For our campaign, we created a completely new "tray" for cold drinks that became both a new ambient medium and a utility for the consumer as it kept their drinks cooler for longer.
In order to launch this new medium, we partnered with 415 bubble tea stores in 19 cities. When consumers ordered 2 or more drinks in-store or via a delivery service, they were given the special "Sensodyne Cool Tray" to package their drinks.
The Cool Tray was designed with insulation that kept the drinks colder longer, and it carried a series of messages that specifically called out the symptoms of sensitive teeth. As the drinks were kept cool for longer, more sufferers would see our messages and would become acutely aware during their moments of both consumption and discomfort as they related to the symptoms written on our special packaging.
Thus, the "Sensodyne Cool Tray" became a new medium in the hands of the consumers. In addition, they were also displayed within the 415 bubble tea stores themselves, making a big and prominent appearance in the hands of the delivery men.