Fast-moving Philips takes advantage of Colgate mishap in reactive stunt

By on Thursday, July 11, 2013

Following Colgate’s PR disaster on Tuesday, Philips have, in a (brush)stroke of genius, moved quickly to launch a tongue-in-cheek campaign to mock their rivals.

Colgate-gate consisted of a “BrushSwap” promotional stall at London Waterloo that caused mayhem after it was overrun by bargain-hunters/teeth enthusiasts. The idea was that you could swap any old electric toothbrush for one worth £170, but the stall was closed down by 9.30am due to crowd numbers and due to the 750 products running out.

This all happened on Tuesday, but on Wednesday adverts from rival Philips were seen in The Times and Evening Standard, as well as in a digital takeover of Waterloo station, poking fun at the mishap:

 Blog - Philips

 The ad ran the strapline: “The best things in life aren’t free”, and below this “And worth every penny.”

Brent Kokoskin, Philips Sonicare UK marketing director, says: “We know that many people were left with a bad taste in their mouth yesterday and, as the number one sonic toothbrush brand in the UK, we wanted to help disappointed consumers enjoy a better brushing experience.

“Hopefully our quick response brought a smile back to people’s faces.”

Philips has also been contacting commuters who expressed their disappointment on Twitter about being unable to redeem Colgate’s promotion with the offer of a free Sonicare toothbrush.

This is a great example of reactive PR, kudos to PR agency Emanante, creative agency Ogilvy and media agency Carat for  turning it around so quickly.

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