Background of the Study
The toothpaste brand, Pepsodent used to be popular among the Americans during the first half of the 20th century. The brand was spotlighted in numerous print, radio and TV ads with catchy jingles and snappy dialogue. Pepsodent was introduced in the Philippines during the 1990’s with the promotion of Unilever Philippines. The toothpaste brand surpassed Colgate’s popularity during those times but for some reason, Unilever pulled Pepsodent out of the market and replaced it with Close Up toothpaste. (Fidlin, 2011). Pepsodent toothpaste is manufactured by the Unilever Corporation and it was at one time one of the most popular brands of toothpaste in the United States. Yet, producers of toothpaste such as Crest started touting the addition of fluoride in their paste which caught on with the public. Pepsodent did not adjust swiftly enough and saw their brand’s popularity wane and it has since never recovered the popularity or sales that it once had (Natural Toothpaste, 2011). Information on Pepsodent's earliest days is scarce. Company executives at Church & Dwight, the owner of Pepsodent, claim the brand was introduced in the early 20th century, initially as a tooth powder that eventually morphed into a paste form. Pepsodent allegedly struggled through the late 1920s, at which time it began sponsoring radio programs, including one hosted by Bob Hope. It first was made available during the 1920′s and reached its height of popularity during the 1930′s through the early 50′s. The move led to greater name recognition (Natural Toothpaste, 2011). Pepsodent advertisements spotlighted the toothpaste's distinguishing features. It had a minty flavor that was derived from sassafras, an ingredient found in some varieties of tea and such soft drinks as root beer and sarsaparilla. Advertisements also pointed out the presence of irium (otherwise known as sodium lauryl sulfate) as a mechanism for fighting tooth decay, and to an ingredient known as IMP for preventing tooth decay (Fidlin, 2011). Throughout the 1950s, Pepsodent was one of the most popular toothpaste brands in the United States. But such brands as Colgate and Crest from competing companies were adding a new ingredient--fluoride--when it was discovered the chemical compound helped fight cavities. Heading into the 1960s, Pepsodent had not yet added fluoride, and sales were waning (Fidlin, 2011). In 2003 household-manufacturing company Church & Dwight purchased the Pepsodent brand rights in the United States from Unilever, a British and Dutch company that sells an assortment of consumer products throughout the world. Unilever still holds the rights to Pepsodent, where it is sold outside the U.S. Church & Dwight also holds the rights to such toothpaste brands as Aim, Arm & Hammer, Close-Up and Mentadent (Fidlin, 2011). Although the ingredients in Pepsodent have been tweaked over time, the brand never rebounded from the decline during the middle part of the 20th century. It is now considered a value brand alongside some of the bigger names in the industry. Stores selling Pepsodent usually offer it for half the price of such giants as Aquafresh, Colgate and Crest (Fidlin, 2011). According to the company website, Church & Dwight offer two versions of Pepsodent--one with the original flavor and another with enhanced whitening ingredients. Both versions, according to Church & Dwight, feature a "proven cavity-fighting formula" that aids in the removal of plaque and promotes strong enamel and healthy gums as well as tartar control (Fidlin, 2011). Unilever Philippines decided to introduce Pepsodent Toothpaste to compete with Colgate during the 1990’s. As expected, Pepsodent was able to surpass Colgate’s popularity and was the number one toothpaste in the Philippines. Pepsodent’s reputation faced problems. Issues rocked the core of the brand and product...
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