The Indian oral care market is a category of multiple legacy brands offering products from mouthwashes to toothpastes. As such, the competition amongst the major oral care brands has birthed a great deal of marketing contests, leading up to some iconic advertising campaigns over the years.
Consequently, the category has seen significant growth over the years, with an estimated value of $1.8 billion in 2023, according to market research platform Statista. As per an HDFC securities report, toothpastes rack up around 70% share of this market.
Oral care brand Sensodyne was launched in India in 2011. The brand, owned by consumer health company Haleon, aimed to chart its place in the mix of tough competitors.
The toothpaste industry is dominated by a select few brands, such as Colgate, Pepsodent, Closeup, Dabur and Patanjali. Many of these have been in the industry for several decades. Most of the success that these brands have enjoyed over the years, can be credited to their advertising prowess.
But Sensodyne, which leads the sensitive segment of toothpaste category in India, as per the HDFC report, hasn’t spent much on celebrity-driven commercials or fancy jingles. In fact, the brand has consistently been riding the wave of clinical representations, with a lot of ‘white coat’ endorsements, to push its message.
Interestingly, after the initial success of the brand, the toothpaste industry saw the genesis of a separate denomination for sensitivity toothpastes, prompting brands like Colgate to launch their own dedicated product range under Colgate Sensitive.
More importantly, the brand has managed to create an aura of ‘medi care’ – around tooth sensitivity, within the consumer healthcare businesses. Bhawna Sikka, category head, oral healthcare, Haleon, reveals that before the brand’s launch, the plan was to specify the need and then provide the solution.