Philips – loving toothbrushes and waking up in the morning

I just came across a campaign by Philips for their Sonicare toothbrush where they have created a video of  reactions to their product by secretly filming a group of people who had been invited to a bogus audition for a tv ad. They planted hidden cameras and actors who were asked to probe the participants for their true feelings on the toothbrush whilst waiting to go into the audition.

They got some positive comments as well as a great campaign video as a result. ‘The Experiment’ , as they’ve called it, has also been added to the Sonicare product Facebook page and Global Philips websites. This led me to do a little more digging into what else they have been up to online, and I have to say that I am really impressed with what I see.

Using ‘The Experiment’ as an example, you can see how the campaign has been nicely integrated into all of their online activity. They have managed to create an interesting product page on Facebook which goes far beyond just boring product details and lists of suppliers. They focus on the emotive side of their product – how does it make people feel?- which ties in nicely with their overall brand vision. They also have a dedicated area for Dentists and other relevent professionals, including a competition for  ‘Mentor of the Year’ which allows people within the industry to vote for those who have had the biggest impact on their career and development.  Another campaign (and a nicely targeted one at that) but one which is nicely linked in with their consumer one and as such doesn’t feel out-of-place sharing the same space.

They encourage interaction with their brand and link into their website without being too pushy. Whilst the numbers are not massive (just over 21k ‘likes’ at the time of posting), I wonder how many people have a more positive feeling towards the brand and the product as a result of seeing it? I know that I for one watched the video and then thought about what toothbrush I use. I wonder if I’ll remember the Sonicare when I am next in the market for a new brush? Guess that would be the true test.

So what about their websites? From what I have seen the overall Philips website has really strong brand consistency globally. The main site uses the same homepage template across all countries and they have localised quite a few of their campaign videos whilst still allowing the regions to select the most relevent ones for them. This is so important. Companies can so easily take their global brand consistency too far and not allow the regions to use their local consumer knowledge to target their content.

The overall focus of the website is not really on their products, but more on their overall company vision–  which you would expect from a main brand site I guess. They have really great videos which talk about this vision: ‘simply to make a difference to peoples lives’, and you can see how this vision is also quite clearly embedded in each of the campaigns which I viewed.

The ‘Wake up the town’ campaign in particular is inspired! In order to promote their Wake-Up light, they took their product to the most northern town in the World, where they have roughly 3 months of total darkness 24/7, and gave all the villagers who signed up for the experiment one of their Wake-Up Lights to try. The idea behind the experiment was to see if the product would make waking up in the dark easier for the inhabitants and therefore improve their day/lives during the dark months. All participants were asked to keep a ‘Wake-up diary’ and the results were documented online.

This campaign has:

  • Beautiful videos which end with strong call to actions to ‘find out more’ or follow the experiment on Facebook
  • Great integration with Facebook and Twitter
  • A well created microsite dedicated to the experiment
  • A strong tie-in with their overall brand vision

So, overall I am really impressed with what I have seen of their online efforts! Philips are a great case study which other global brands should take inspiration from.


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