Cannes Lions

NUGEN

VMLY&R, Cape Town / COLGATE-PALMOLIVE / 2022

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Overview

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Overview

Background

Toothbrushes have been sold the same way for the last 213 years. But, with sales plateauing and limited standout within the oral hygiene category, we needed to do something different.

We discovered that African youth use toothbrushes for so much more than just brushing teeth. From hair care and styling, to sneakers and gaming, toothbrushes have found an unexpected place in popular culture.

Idea

As the experts in brush sizes, bristle textures and angles, we connected Colgate to culture and extended our range.

Introducing Colgate NuGen – the brushes that started a conversation about youth culture.

NuGen is a set of 3 bespoke brushes specifically crafted to answer the cultural needs of African youth.

EdgeBrush™

A hair-parting pick with ultra-smooth bristles to style baby hairs.

KickBrush™

A brush with soft bristles and an extra firm grip to keep kicks

looking fresh.

GameBrush™

Firm, V-shaped bristles and a 30° angled head to take gaming gear to the next level.

Strategy

With over 145 years’ in the market, Colgate is a leading oral hygiene brand. Driven by the brand purpose of “championing optimism”, we are committed to creating healthy smiles for all.

But for Gen Z, smiles mean more than having good oral care. They need to have substance. So, we reimagined our range and connected Colgate to culture.

From hair care and styling, to cleaning sneakers and gaming gear, we discovered that toothbrushes have found an unexpected place in African youth culture.

We used our expertise to answer the cultural needs of African youth, and show up as more than just an oral hygiene brand.

NuGen took Colgate beyond conventional retail environments and extended our brand footprint. For the first time, we were able to step into the South African hair, sneaker and gaming industries – segments worth $523M, $97M and $310M respectively.

Execution

We packaged NuGen in recycled and biodegradable packaging and sent our brushes to Gen Z influencers breaking ground in the beauty, sneaker, and gaming industries.

Limited drops opened the door for us to step into new categories. For the first time, we were able to show up in sneaker stores, hair salons and gaming stores – extending our retail footprint and showing up in the places and spaces our consumers live their lives.

Outcome

This campaign opened the door to the South African hair, sneaker and gaming industries – segments worth $523M, $97M and $310M respectively. It connected us to an entirely new audience and started a conversation about African youth culture that changed the perception of Colgate.

It also proved the viability for NuGen's bespoke brushes within the retail sector - with Colgate NuGen brushes now moving into full retail production.

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