Colgate vs Crest advertising & marketing assignments

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Selected Crest & Colgate advertising

Colgate vs Crest. It's one of those FMCG battles the marketing industry loves to love, like Coke vs Pepsi or Big Mac vs Whopper. Procter & Gamble's Crest spent 40 years as America's favourite toothpaste before being unceremoniously kicked from the top spot in 1998 by Colgate-Palmolive's Colgate. In fact the battle is more than a little uneven. Colgate has long been the undisputed champion in the global market, with market leadership in more than 170 countries and global sales of around $2bn. The US remained its weak spot, the only significant market where it was forced to put up with the #2 place. All that changed with the launch in 1998 of Colgate Total, which seized leadership of the sector. P&G has been fighting back ever since, broadening its attack by expanding into other oral health segments such as whitening, floss, mouthwash and toothbrushes. After almost a decade of fierce competition, Crest regained the lead in the US during 2007, only to lose it once more in 2016. Colgate remains the world's best-selling toothpaste, the #1 brand in virtually every market in which it is available, often by a considerable margin. According to Kantar's annual Brand Footprint survey it is the world's second "most chosen" consumer brand (after Coca-Cola) with more than 4.3bn purchase actions a year. Colgate-Palmolive's share of the global toothpaste market peaked in early 2015 at over 41%, more than its three largest competitors combined. That figure has slipped back slightly, but the company remains comfortably ahead of all its competitors. For 2020, the global figure was just under 40% global share, and around 35% in the US. P&G was #2 globally, followed by GSK and Unilever. In some countries, Colgate's share is even higher; as much as 70% or 80% in some Latin American markets. The main Colgate brand is partnered by regional variants including Ultrabrite and Tom's of Maine (the US), Elmex and Meridol (Switzerland and developing markets), Sorriso (Latin America) and Kolynos (Latin America and Eastern Europe), among others. "Naturally friendly" US brand Hello was acquired in 2020 for $351m. Crest is more limited geographically; sold primarily in North America. Attempts to establish a presence elsewhere were largely unsuccessful. Instead, P&G has rebranded the same or similar toothpaste products under its well-established Oral-B brand, and this has proved far more popular to international customers. Blend-a-Med is a secondary P&G brand in Germany.

Capsule checked 9th August 2021

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Which agencies handle advertising for Crest and Colgate? Find out more from the Account Assignments database.

Who competes with Crest and Colgate? The three main global oral care marketers are Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble and GSK Consumer Healthcare. There is competition in selected regional markets from Unilever (parts of Europe and developing markets), Church & Dwight (mainly North America), Henkel (parts of Europe), Dabur India (mainly India and Middle East), Lion and Kao Corporation (mainly Japan) and LG H&H (mainly Korea). See Personal Care Sector for other companies

Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Social Media 22nd Jan 2019: "Close Talker". With less than two weeks to go till Super Bowl, agencies and advertisers have been leaving it later than usual to start releasing teasers or full ads from the Big Game. Last year, the first ads started appearing at least a week earlier. This year, though, Colgate's spot is only now the first full commercial to drop, although Kia unveiled a teaser for their own ad over the weekend. Presumably, the floodgates will now open. Given the general (low) standard of Colgate ads, this one is pretty good, featuring actor Luke Wilson (always my favourite Wilson brother). As usual with all Colgate-Palmolive advertising, WPP's dedicated Red Fuse unit is responsible. Clearly, their creative department has discovered a bit more pizzazz in a hitherto unopened cupboard.

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