Colgate goes viral with a peek into the future

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | November 15, 2007
Colgate is promoting its Oral Health Month through an animated video in which the world is taken over by fierce monsters


marketing may sound like something only Internet companies want to associate with, but a traditional FMCG brand like Colgate-Palmolive has proven otherwise. The toothpaste brand is collaborating with the Indian Dental Association (IDA) to launch an online video to spread the word about its yearly programme, the Colgate Oral Health Month, whose mission is 'Zero Tooth Decay'.

Viral marketing is a new media format in which a message is communicated with the use of creative websites, animated videos or short films that are spread 'virally' by people passing them on to each other via e-mail, blog or social media. In short, viral marketing is creating brand awareness and promoting a brand through an out-of-the-box video that urges people to spread it via 'word of mouse'.

The world is attacked by

Germosaurus creating havoc

The viral video is rewinding

Germosaurus is small

Germosaurus was born out of
tiny germs in the mouth
Colgate's message of preventing tooth decay was sent through an animated video, called 'Attack of the Germosaurus'. The video shows an imagined future in 3000 AD, with the Germosaurus species, which resembles King Kong with sharp teeth and bloodshot eyes, creating havoc on the planet. The video then goes back in time to the present (2007 AD) and shows the origin of the Germosaurus. It turns out that the monstrous Germosaurus actually originated in the mouth of a young man who was eating a sandwich in a coffee shop. The viral says in the end, 'Don't Play God to a New Species, Get a Dental Checkup Instead'.

Colgate celebrated the Oral Health Month for 2007 in October, during which it offered free dental checkups across India in 175 cities. Colgate also created an interactive microsite, The website features games, online pledges, and so on.

The creative agency for the site and viral video campaign was Mumbai-based Interactive Avenues. Anish Varghese, creative group head, Interactive Avenues, says, "We launched the viral in mid-October to create awareness on the Net about OHM, but we didn't want to do anything funny. 'Germosaurus' is an exaggerated and serious viral."

Apart from the viral video and the microsite, the agency put up banner ads and various verticals and horizontals about the Oral Health Month across the Net on sites such as Rediff, Yahoo! and various cricket sites.

Amit Thaker, senior manager, client consulting, Interactive Avenues, says, "The average time spent was five-six minutes on the viral and the site." The site has a pledge meter, where more than one lakh people have pledged their support to fight oral cancer, adds Thaker.

The viral was uploaded on social media sites like YouTube, Facebook and Orkut. Interactive Avenues intends to modify the viral by changing the message a little as the campaign month is over now. The agency says the modified version of the viral will be circulated around the end of November.

One of the factors that make virals so attractive is that they cost very little and are practically self-propelling. According to agency sources, the cost of making a viral video depends upon the number of frames being used. Generally in India, virals have about two-three frames and cost around Rs 1-3 lakh. Interactive Avenues did not share the cost of the Colgate viral, but Thaker says, "The cost of the viral was a small proportion of the total ad spend on online media done by Colgate." The Colgate spokesperson declined to share numbers.

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