For toothpaste brands, clean teeth are just table stakes
There’s no such thing as ordinary toothpaste. That’s one of the first things a Colgate commercial will tell you—and when it comes to toothpaste advertising, it’s true. Toothpaste is now a Swiss army knife problem-solver. It should do things like eliminate bacteria (so you’re ready for bear hugs), whiten (so you can let yourself swish that red wine), or reduce sensitivity (so you can enjoy ice cream again).
In November—a month famous for eating—top toothpaste brands spent millions of dollars on TV advertising vying to be consumers’ choice for solving their biggest teeth problems.
Whitening saw the most investment from brands with more than $12 million on television advertising space in November alone. The biggest spender was Colgate. It dedicated $9.6 million to television media for its Optic White product, making Colgate also the biggest TV spender of all toothpaste brands in the month, according to data from Alphonso. Ads for Optic White ran everywhere, on hundreds of different shows across the main broadcast networks, top-tier cable channels, and many others. The brand also doubled-down on its influence with celebrity. It hired Food Network celebrity and educator Alton Brown to teach viewers, chalk board and all, how Optic White works.
Gum-health and bacteria problems came in second. In November, Crest invested the most on its new product Crest Gum Detoxify. For it, brand spent nearly $3 million on television advertising space, with the vast majority of airings on MTV’s Ridiculousness, raising awareness about gum pain and the dangers of gum bacteria. Meanwhile, Colgate spent nearly $2 million on TV ad space to promote Colgate Total Advanced, a 12-hour bacteria fighter on teeth, tongue, cheeks, and you guessed it—gums, too.
The one-two punch however may have come from Sensodyne. Sensodyne is synonymous with relieving tooth sensitivity. It spent $6.8 million on television space in November across its brands. The kicker? It has a whitening toothpaste. Whitening plus sensitivity relief: That’s two distinct problems solved with one tube. As for media, Sensodyne invested uniquely and strategically skipping the usual array of cable networks, and spending only on CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, CW, and the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Independent of TV ad buying strategies, the overall toothpaste M.O. is clear. Resonate with consumers by purporting to solve the issues they themselves can identify like yellow teeth, painful gums, bad breath, sensitivity. As for what’s really causing all of America’s problems with their pearly whites? Leave that for the dentist.
TS Kelly is senior vice president of research for Alphonso, a TV data company that provides real-time TV campaign analytics, one-to-one TV ad retargeting, and closed-loop attribution for brands and agencies. In his role at Alphonso, Kelly deep dives into television data and insights, giving clients guidance on how to optimize their TV spend.
CoverGirl intros Full Spectrum collection
CoverGirl is unveiling a new line of products inspired by multicultural women.
The Full Spectrum collection aims to enable the complete expression of what makes each individual unique, address the skin and color needs of women of color, and help shoppers achieve their desired makeup look.
Featuring cosmetics for the eyes, lips and face, the collection contains a vast range of shades that are highly pigmented and designed to pop against darker skin tones, the company said.
The full collection includes:
- Matte Ambition All Day Shine Free Foundation, which offers medium to full coverage, is transfer-resistant, provides all-day comfort wear and comes in 20 shades. The foundation retails from $8.69 to $11.99;
- Matte Ambition All-Day Shine Free Powder Foundation, which comes in 12 shades, evens out skin tones, blurs the appearance of hyperpigmentation, leaves a velvety matte finish, and retails from $9.96 to $13.39;
- All Day Idol Brightening Concealer, which comes in six shades, camouflages under eye circles, neutralizes blemishes, and retails from $8.42 to $11.49;
- Contour & Correct Expert Cream Palette, which is designed for medium to deep skin tones, neutralizes imperfections, helps accentuate facial features, and retails from $9.96 to $13.49;
- Sculpt Expert Multi-Use Cheek Palette, which is formulated to pop and compliment deeper skin tones, affects the way light reflects on the skin and leaves a luminescent finish. Available in three shades — rose rush, bronze flame and blush touch — it retails from $9.96 to $13.49;
- Matte Ambition Skin Primer preps skin, provides a shine-free finish and retails from $9.96 to $11.49;
- Color Idol Satin Lipstick, which comes in 20 shades, provides high coverage, leaves a vibrant finish and retails from $6.92 to $9.49;
- Matte Idol Liquid Lipstick, which is available in 12 shades, is highly pigmented, has color that dries to a velvet matte finish, lasts up to 24 hours, and retails from $6.92 to $9.49;
- Gloss Idol Moisturizing Lip Gloss provides high shine, comes in 14 shades, and retails from $6.92 to $9.49;
- So Saturated Quad Shadow Palette, which is made to pop against darker skin tones, contains six sets of vivid colors and retails from $6.92 to $9.49;
- So Saturated 8 Shade Shadow Palette, which is available in three finishes — matte, shimmer and metallic — features the reverence, posh, gravity and zodiac options. It retails from $9.96 to $13.49; and
- Defining Moment All-Day Eyeliner, which is smudge-proof, glides on smoothly and delivers an all-day color vibrancy. It comes in six shades and retails from $6.92 to $9.49.
CoverGirl’s Full Spectrum collection is available on Ulta Beauty’s website and will hit mass market, drug store, food and e-commerce retailers in February 2019.
Ulta Beauty’s Q3 results report sales increase amid store growth
Ulta Beauty’s winning streak continued in the third quarter as it continues to open stores at a rapid clip.
The beauty powerhouse’s net income increased 25.3% to $131.2 million in the quarter ended Oct. 28. Earnings per share increased 28.2% to $2.18, just beating analysts’ estimates of $2.16 per share.
Net sales increased 16.2% to $1.56 billion, in line with estimates. Total same-store sales increased 7.8%, driven by new store growth along with 5.3% transaction growth and 2.5% growth in average ticket. E-commerce sales spiked 42.5% to $170.7 million, representing nearly 11% of total company revenue.
Ulta kept up its heady expansion during the quarter, opening 42 new stores. It also remodeled four existing locations and relocated one unit. The retailer has opened 105 net new stores to date this year.
On the company’s quarterly call, CEO Mary Dillon gave an update on Ulta’s future store plans.
“With increased confidence in the next several years of store growth, we narrowed our U.S. store target range of 1,500 to 1,700,” she said. “And we’ll slightly moderate new store openings in the next few years, with plans to open 80 stores in 2019, 75 stores in 2020 and 70 stores in 2021.”
Dillon explained that the moderation will be in tandem with a greater focus on portfolio repositioning as the company has a large number of store leases coming up for renewal in the next several years.
Despite a strong third quarter, Ulta disappointed analysts with its fourth-quarter outlook. The retailer said it expects revenue of between $2.08 billion and $2.10 billion and earnings per share of between $3.50 and $3.55 The projections fell short of analysts’ estimates of $3.60 in EPS and $2.109 billion in sales.
Ulta ended the quarter with 1,163 stores and square footage of 12,221,878, representing a 9.7% increase in square footage compared to the same period last year.