Crest and OralB Pro-Health. P&G's first attempt to target the 50+ consumer!

P&G is trying to engage the ageing consumer with it’s line of Crest and Oral‐B Pro‐Health For Life dental products “Selected for Aged 50+ Consumers”. According to P&G’s release, this marks the first time that a P&G campaign has been directly marketed to the 50+ population.

I like the age-neutral concept of Pro-Health for Life as portrayed on their website, but it looks like they are falling into the same trap as most brands exploring the ageing consumer in focussing their effort on one aspect of the customer journey and overlooking others.

It seems the line was launched back in September 2012, and given that we had been researching and writing our new book; ‘Marketing to the Ageing Consumer’ around the time, it is probably not a good sign for P&G communications that this slipped under our radar.

According to the company, the Crest and Oral‐B Pro‐Health For Life oral care products defend against dental conditions people over 50 experience including tender inflamed gums, plaque and bad breath. Yet it seems that the company is struggling to justify their product ‘selections’ based on oral hygiene needs specific to ageing consumers, as evident from these descriptors:

  • Crest Pro-Health For Life Rinse. “Selected for people over 50 because it’s alcohol-free and provides a unique sensation”.
  • Crest Pro-Health For Life Toothpaste “selected for people over 50 because it has a smoother formulation and protects all areas dentists check most”.
  • Oral-B Pro-Health For Life Toothbrush “…..selected for people over 50 because it has extra soft bristles”.
  • Oral-B Glide Pro-Health For Life Floss “…..selected for people over 50 because it is Glide’s softest floss”.

These product benefits could be more compelling if better linked to the real needs of older customers.

Aside from these quick observations, an AF (Age-Friendly) Audit would also have revealed weaknesses in the packaging and online experience as well as retail and sales support elements.

The launch was accompanied by a video. The original version uploaded by P&G in September has, as of today’s date, garnered a mere 7,684 views. Paltry for a consumer marketing behemoth like P&G and global brands such as Crest and Oral B.

Perhaps I’m being over-critical but keep in mind P&G is arguably the worlds most advanced marketer, so we should expect them to raise the bar on marketing to ageing consumers.

Despite the criticisms, it is encouraging to see P&G finally put money where it’s mouth is and target the ageing consumer. Kudos for that!