Shine Bright Like A Diamond



For a segment that is hinged on competition and innovation, the Whitening segment in oral care suffers from acute perceived homogeneousness. None of the brands are seen as differentiated and there are no attributes where consumers perceive any brand being unique from the other one. Hence the consumer has a very transactional relationship with all the brands. They are all seen as just products that possibly give you white teeth.


CloseUp aimed at being a youth brand. A brand of choice of young people in a category that was traditionally seen as something their mothers dealt with. The youth of today did not relate to the product’s promise of long lasting freshness and did not find the brand idea of getting closer to each other as unique or differentiated. This was aptly revealed in a consumer research where it was said that perhaps CloseUp was behaving like Madonna, while the audience were listening to Lady Gaga.

To change this perception, Unilever would need to make significant changes in all the aspects of the brand’s offering, from the product to the packaging and obviously the proposition and communication. If it was not successful in changing this perception of being seen as outdated, it would spell doom for the future of the brand entirely and not just the whitening variants.  

Together, the two challenges posed an uphill task. Lowe needed to connect with a fickle, hard to please audience and shake up their perception of the offering and it needed to do this with a brand that currently seen to be “so yesterday”.


Hinged on the insight that the target audience is young, image conscious, hip and stylish and for her, her whole appearance was important her figure, fashion, skin, hair, nails, eyes and most importantly her smile. She connects with beauty brands that acknowledge her needs and responded in a way that made her feel assured about their beauty credentials – in short they spoke the language of beauty. She needed a toothpaste that spoke the same language.

But can a toothpaste do that? Enter CloseUp Diamond Attraction - an innovative product that was specifically co-created with cosmetic dentists with 3 times the power of Blue Covarin technology, which gives instantly white teeth in just one single brush. The new CloseUp Diamond Attraction was a great opportunity to position CloseUp in the cosmetic/instant beautification category and be integral part of any woman’s beauty regime.

But, there was also a second challenge to surpass. To combat Brand Fatigue, Lowe decided to give the brand a complete makeover. From the brand identity to the packaging design everything was overhauled. Not only did it change the product and the packaging, it also refreshed communication and tone of voice to become a young, hip, sophisticated beauty brand.

Lowe positioned Diamond Attraction as not merely a toothpaste that you would use in the morning to clean your teeth, but rather as an essential part of your beauty regime, a brand that took responsibility of managing your biggest beauty asset – a shining white smile.

Importantly now, the agency needed to find the right platforms where it could affirm the brand’s commitment and showcase its beauty credentials. So, it tied up with an event- Fashion Forward, which is the pinnacle of fashion and beauty in the region that put the brand in the centre of style, glitz and glamour.


SPONSORSHIP – FASHION FORWARD (FF). A platform that showcased the Middle East’s fashion landscape and its most talented designers. Lowe set up a stunning diamond-shaped activation dome where fashionistas could drop by for mini makeovers, and experience the ‘sparkling white’ results of product, first hand. It also got Dubai TV presenter, Diala Makki, to talk to designers and attendees, and fuel the online conversation through social media.

ATL – TV, RADIO, OUTDOOR. The launch of Diamond Attraction was supported by a basket of ATL communication, including a slick TVC that brought to life the functional promise in a young, stylised way. On radio, CloseUp took the whole ‘beauty regime’ philosophy forward, by offering listeners a chance to win free makeovers in the comfort of their homes. Outdoor media showcased the new brand identity and packaging in all its refreshed glory

ON GROUND. The success of the Fashion Forward activation, prompted a similar on-ground activation, but this time it wanted to reach a wider set of audiences. It launched at the JBR beach in Dubai. Consumers were given free beauty makeovers, samples and demonstrations of the new Closeup Diamond Attraction, all done in a very high fashion and beauty brand way.

IN-STORE. The solution was put very eloquently by one of the world’s most beautiful women – “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. Taking inspiration from this, Lowe launched an in-store promotion with a chance to win sparkling white diamonds.


Diamond Attraction was a shining success. The uphill task was easily crossed as the campaign yielded impressive results.

Close Up almost DOUBLED its market share in the whitening segment in UAE and GREW THE MARKET SHARE BY 2.5 TIMES in Kuwait*

Campaign performance against the set KPIs:

• UAE* - Achieved Value Market Share of 18.9% in Jul 2014 v/s Target of 15% (up from 10.2% share in Jul 2013)
MARKET SHARE GREW BY 85%                                 

• Kuwait*– Achieved Value Market Share of 16.2% in Jul 2014 v/s Target of 10% (up from 6.5% in Jul 2013)
MARKET SHARE GREW BY 149%               

• Brand Attributes^ - To increased score in “Makes teeth whiter instantly” attribute – Achieved 21 v/s Target 20 (up from 19 in July 2013)

 (*Source: Nielsen, ^Source: Millward Brown)

Facebook page post ads delivered 32,655 clicks and 3,068,082 impressions, achieving a CTR of 1.06% target v/s KPI 0.8%. YouTube activity generated 324,628 True Views (v/s KPI 250K views) at a strong view rate of 13.91% v/s KPI 10%.

 Success of this new product and the reversal of fortunes for CloseUp in the whitening segment was very critical and was followed closely by a complete brand rejuvenation across the range with new technology, packaging, brand identity, brand proposition and communication.

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CloseUp Toothpaste
Brand Owner:
United Arab Emirates
March - June 2014
Media Channel:
  • FMAs shortlisted

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