HLL’s Media Strategy for Close-Up



Case Code : CLMC-027
Publication date : 2005
Subject : Marketing Communications
Industry : -
Length : 04 Pages
Price : Rs. 100

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Key words:

Indian toothpaste market, Oral Care, ACNielsen Retail Audit 2003, ORG Marg, Close-Up, Mother Brand, Positioning, Internet Portals, Radio Medium, Brand Placement, Mindshare Fulcrum and AXN.


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The caselet throws light on the innovative media strategy adopted by HLL for the re-launch of its toothpaste brand Close-Up. The caselet describes the media mix used for the new marketing communication campaign by HLL. The caselet also provides an overview of the earlier communications initiatives undertaken by HLL for Close-up. The Indian toothpaste market and its characteristics are also touched upon in this caselet.


  » Media strategy of Indian FMCG companies
  » Importance of the Internet as a communication medium in the media mix of a company
  » Indian tooth paste market

The Indian toothpaste market is estimated at around Rs 14 bn with Hindustan Lever (HLL) having a market share of 32.8%. Close-Up (15.6%) and Pepsodent (17.2%) are the major brands for the company (ACNielsen-ORG Marg 2003). Close-Up was launched in 1975 and was the first gel toothpaste brand of HLL. Since the late 1990s the brand has witnessed a decline in market share, mainly due to the stagnation in the toothpaste gel market since 1998.

Increased competition from Colgate and low-end players like Anchor and Ajanta was another reason for the brand’s poor showing. Besides, the oral care category itself declined, with toothpastes witnessing a 12.5 percent drop and toothpowders, an 8 percent fall (ACNielsen Retail Audit 2003).

HLL made several attempts to give a boost to the sagging sales of Close-Up. In the early 2000s, the company launched many variants including Ultra Whitening, Oxy Fresh, and Eucalyptus Blue along with the mother brand -- Tingly Red. In January 2004, the Tingly Red toothpaste was promoted through an ad campaign with the jingle “Kya aap Close Up karte hain?”. However, this move did not yield the desired results. In June 2004, HLL decided to restructure Close-Up’s brand portfolio by dropping the variants and restricting it to the mother brand -- Tingly Red -- and a single variant Lemon Mint.