CPG Upstart Hello Moves Toothpaste Off Shelves With TV

TubeConsumer packaged-goods startup Hello Products is combining TV with offline activations to create a competitive edge for its oral care products.

As a challenger to household names like Crest and Colgate, Hello aims to differentiate its ethos through natural formulas and bright and alluring packaging.

The brand is now activating digital video and TV with video-buying platform TubeMogul to support in-store events and promotions.

Hello Products first jumped into programmatic video with TubeMogul last fall for a campaign driving 15 million impressions. Because it was launching new creative and toothpaste last winter, the brand wanted to expand into new media types and blend a little bit of the tried and true with the new.

The company distributes its toothpaste and other wares in stores ranging from Walgreens and Stop & Shop to Target. The brand has conducted large-scale tests in select cities where Target has the highest concentration of stores, according to Christi Botello, director of digital marketing for Hello Products.

“It was about getting the best crowd in each of those cities [Chicago, San Francisco and Minneapolis], so we focused this campaign around specific markets,” Botello said. “We delivered around 30 million impressions focusing on key cities where we know we have product in-store.”

To support the new product rollout, Hello had street teams out sampling new toothpaste in-store from February to early April, which coincided with the NCAA tournament.

“We really wanted to pull all the major levers when we felt like we had the best distribution built,” Botello said. For two weeks, it bought regional spots during the NCAA tournament, targeted to Minneapolis shoppers (and subsequent in-store sampling events) using TubeMogul’s Programmatic TV platform. 

Within the second week of the spots’ airing (along with concurrent digital messaging), Hello noticed a 66% uplift in sales regionally in Minneapolis and a doubling of sales in other regions.

Even though the brand doubled its awareness in all advertised markets, Botello said it can be a challenge to attribute what you’re spending on digital with actual sales in-market.

Using TubeMogul’s BrandSights surveying tool, Hello was able to measure exposed vs. controlled audiences, and gauge that the video campaign increased consideration by 14% with reported product usage climbing 38%.

Hello Products works only with US manufacturers and refrains from animal testing, so a big psychographic target is “people who care about products made with good ingredients that are better for the world and which have a little bit of soul,” Botello said.

Demographics are important too, since Hello wants to reach millennial moms, who have green tendencies.

mint“What’s neat about programmatic targeting is we can really focus in on our millennial mom target and layer in people who are in-market for toothpaste and who have shopped at Target,” Botello said. “We’ve been able to zero in on a mindset, demographic and even a shopping profile because of programmatic.”

Marketers have the option to weave in data segments from Datalogix, Nielsen National Buyer Insights and Nielsen Local Buyer Reach directly from TubeMogul’s console, according to its CMO Keith Eadie. Hello had a very specific target in mind for this particular campaign, so it didn’t invest in third-party data segments as other retailers typically do.

“The big thing we’re evolving into is incorporating more mobile in the plan,” Botello said. “In the last month and a half, we started moving [desktop] video advertising over to mobile. We’ve seen 8% click-through and 88% completion, so there are just enormous numbers proving people are engaging through mobile.”

Botello cut her teeth at classic CPGs like P&G and Almay Cosmetics.

She said it’s hard for an upstart in a saturated space to amass enough buying power for TV, making programmatic TV and video a way it can level the playing field on inventory, pricing and “frankly, speed, which we wouldn’t have without technology.”

She also sees more opportunities to digitize in-store promotional dollars through social or ecommerce activations with retail partners. Hello Products, for instance, had a branded search campaign with Target to surface a Hello ad and redirect to a brand page when a consumer searches for “toothpaste” on Target.com.

“It’s a great example of how shopper dollars are still spent with Target (and Target.com),” Botello said, “but we’re just spending them in a little bit of a different way based on how their business model is evolving.”


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