Are you ready for your close up?
This brand of toothpaste was much more revolutionary fifty years ago than you might believe. Close-Up is a discount brand today, taking a back seat to more popular brands like Crest and Colgate, but once upon a time, it was the newest thing in toothpaste.
Close-up was the first gel toothpaste to hit the market when it was launched by Unilever in 1967. It was a radically new product, which caught on quickly with consumers.
Not only did the brand include clear gel toothpaste, but it also contained microscopic whiteners and mouthwash right inside the toothpaste. The toothpaste was also the first on the market to include mouthwash.
The brand promised whiter teeth and long-lasting fresh breath to its users then and now.
The type of fluoride included in this toothpaste since its first launch is monofluorophosphate, a kind of fluoride that is supposed to target early tooth decay and to make the structure of the tooth, less prone to tooth decay.
Keeping it Fresh
One of the things that has set Close-up apart is its youthful image and modern marketing.
This brand was always targeted at young people and included lower prices. This made it more accessible for individuals who wanted to use it, particularly less established younger individuals who couldn’t afford the higher-priced competitors.
This style of marketing has stuck with the brand while it has spread across the world.
Close-up has kept it fresh by spreading out its marketing to Argentina, Indonesia, India, Russia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Peru, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and more. In all of these markets, the brand is targeted at the youth market.
The brand is the second most popular toothpaste by market share in India.
Bought and Sold
Close-up toothpaste might have been invented by Unilever, but after almost four decades in production, it was sold to a new family of personal care products.
Church & Dwight bought Close-up from Unilever in 2003, along with a whole host of other tooth care brands, for one hundred and four million dollars. It wasn’t an outright sale, as Unilever scored a deal that would allow it to get five to twelve million dollars based on the sales of the brands under Church & Dwight in the year following its licensing deal.
To be clear, this only gave Church & Dwight the right to license the brand in North America. Elsewhere in the world, the brand would continue to be sold by Unilever.
Within the first six months of the company sale, Close-Up toothpaste had made more than sixty million dollars. That’s actually not a huge number for a massive company like Unilever, but for the smaller conglomerate Church & Dwight, it’s significant. It’s also not significant in terms of toothpaste sales of rivals like Colgate or Crest, who dominate the world toothpaste market.
Close-Up wasn’t the only brand bought by Church & Dwight from Unilever. The former secured almost a dozen brands and products from Unilever in licensing deals around the time that it got the rights to make and market Close-Up under the guidance of its then CEO Robert A. Davies.
The future for Close-up is international, as it continues to appeal to markets all over the world. No matter who is marketing it.