Grey pushed the marketing team to look at Orbit White as an indulgence and not as a ‘health’ product or service.
The first teeth whitening chewing gum to be launched in India was Orbit White by Wrigley in the early 2000s. Whitening chewing gum was unheard-of, and it did not help that whitening toothpaste as a category had flopped badly.
People want white teeth, but will not take the extra effort! The launch did not have a large media budget. Internationally, Orbit had a successful communication property called pH Balance in the mouth, post eating food. Consumption was driven by the build-up of plaque and the need to balance pH.
Initially, that was used in India too, not very successfully though.
Naresh Gupta was leading strategy at Grey (they were handling the advertising) & pushed the marketing team to look at Orbit White as an indulgence and not as a ‘health’ product/ service.
Naresh says “We were clear: white teeth have to be the drama, we could have built the usual ‘whiteness is attractive’ story, but we wouldn’t have succeeded in doing in making a mark”.
So the team started with dirty yellow teeth, and it progressed to a cow who chews the cud. Creative director Sandipan Bhattacharya then wrote a series of films with the Animal Specialist Doctor and his Volunteer Cow.
The commercial was made by Pushpendra ‘Pushpi’ Mishra on a shoestring budget.
An ex newspaper delivery boy and then photocopying machine operator became the lead actor (it was his first TVC) and his unpolished dialogue in the commercial is the way he normally spoke.
Though the film was meant for urban sensibilities, a certain ruralness brought out the humour even more.
There was a 300% increase in sales after this commercial was aired.
Moo Moo Dr Bhatawdekar!
(Special thanks to Naresh Gupta for providing all the inputs for this blog)