NEW YORK — Crest, the oral care brand that transformed tooth-whitening into a beauty routine, is out to conquer what it considers a telltale sign of aging: stained teeth.
Renewal Age-Defying Strips, the latest addition to the Crest Whitestrips portfolio, is designed to remove 20 years of stains from a smile, explained David Dintenfass, associate marketing director of global whitening for Procter & Gamble. He added that consumers, women in particular, who attempt to defy aging by dying their hair and applying skin creams, reported that their smile was still giving away their age.
Seizing on the opportunity to enter the antiaging realm, Crest Whitestrips created Renewal, which at $39.99 is at the premium end of the Whitestrips range.
To measure the “20 years of stains” claim, the company conducted clinical research to determine how tooth color changes over time. Dintenfass said Renewal is the only Whitestrips product that includes ingredients clinically tested to remove two decades’ worth of discoloration.
Together, Crest’s current holdings of Whitestrips — Classic (or original) for $24.99; Premium, the seven-day version for $34.99, and the “professional grade” Premium Plus for $39.99 — have generated $250 million in retail sales. Dintenfass would not comment on sales, but industry sources forecast that Renewal will add another $65 million to brand sales in its first year at retail.
Crest will introduce Renewal with a marketing effort, slated to launch Monday, that centers on the theme of “keep them guessing.”
Print ads feature a smiling woman alongside a range of ages in brackets, starting at 26 and ending at 50. Boxes next to each age group allow viewers to mark off which category they think the smile belongs to.
TV ads follow a similar format. In one 30-second spot, a woman asks, “How old am I?” and tells the viewer to decide whether she did the Hustle or the Electric Slide in junior high school. Each ad directs consumers to Crest’s micro Web site, www.keepthemguessing.com, which is scheduled to launch on Sunday.
Crest’s success at positioning Whitestrips as a beauty tool has caught the attention of entrepreneurial dentists, such as Jonathan Levine of GoSmile, who have responded by introducing tooth-whitening products of their own in the prestige channel.
“There’s plenty of room in different tiers of the market for tooth-whitening,” said Dintenfass, referring to the growth of luxury-priced oral care lines such as GoSmile and SuperSmile. Dintenfass, who likened the segment’s distribution growth to that of professional hair care, added that the prestige price points enhance Whitestrips’ value positioning.