Denture cleaning tablets are a relatively new product category in China, with Polident an unfamiliar brand. With only 17% category awareness and 3% category penetration by the end of 2010, the denture cleaning tablets category was almost unknown to the Chinese consumers. The challenge for Polident was to build brand awareness while driving category awareness. This would involve countering some deeply engrained habits, convincing consumers that they no longer needed to scrub their dentures or soak in brine.
The majority of Chinese denture wearers are over 45 and they are used to the traditional way of denture cleaning, either using a toothbrush to scrub their dentures or soaking them in brine. As far as they are concerned, their current practice is easy, cost-efficient and provides satisfactory results. It would therefore be a challenge for Polident to persuade them to accept a new product in the denture cleaning space.
Users are generally elderly, but for more than 50%, their children are the primary purchasers, and young Chinese consumers are far more open to change than their parents. This greater affluence and choice has resulted in a new social phenomenon in China - the 'Empty Nest Family'. This occurs when the traditional nuclear family breaks down; young adults move away from their parents, often to distant cities, leaving their parents alone in their home town. When starting a new life in a new city, it is difficult for the children to show they care about their parents, and the 'Empty Nesters' are left concerned about how they will receive care during their old age. This tension provided an opportunity for Polident to close the distance between elderly parents and their children, positioning itself as the catalyst. Polident would target the children and leveraged their guilt and influence to stimulate sales.
The strategy around the two occasions children are most expected to show their love for their parents, Mother's Day and Father's Day. Sina.com's micro-blog (essentially a Chinese version of Twitter) and online video sites were identified as two of the most popular media touch points among young adults. The former features high frequency of use and the latter occupies a considerable amount of time of the young audience.
To deliver maximum impact, Polident adopted four-step digital strategy:
By using GPS technology combined with Google Maps, Polident provided young targets an easy and fun way to calculate the physical distance between them and their parents. Furthermore, they were encouraged to take an online test "How much do you know about your parents?" to measure the emotional distance with their parents. Based on the results of both, users received a virtual badge showing the extent of love and care they devoted to their parents. They were encouraged to share this on the Sina micro-blog.
A series of online films, aimed at amplifying awareness of the younger generation's generally poor efforts to care for their aging parents was released. Polident also distributed online interviews with celebrities talking about their own parents.
A Polident branded micro-blog was launched on Sina.com encouraging children to post traditional family letters and express their feelings for their parents.
Trial packs were sent to all parents who had been registered online by their children.
Visitor numbers were nearly double those of equivalent campaigns.
Polident achieved 2.8 million unique campaign site views, with 40% participation rate.
The video series scored 8.6 million views with a forwarding rate of 128% around Mother's Day.
More than 25% of all Sina users were reached by the campaign. 180,000 family letters were published.
Awareness for Polident more than tripled and calls to the Polident hotline increased 150%
Awareness of Polident has more than tripled and calls to our hotline increased 150% and sales increased 81% and the campaign collected data for over 21,000 users for future CRM use.
50% of our sales were to the children who bought the product as an ongoing contribution to the care of their parents.