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Procter & Gamble?s Oral-B leverages smartphone mic for better brushing

Procter & Gamble?s Oral-B has rolled out an innovative iPhone application that tracks a consumer's daily tooth brushing to serve up tips and related content.

The oral health care brand?s new Oral-B app is the first part of an upcoming group of digital tools that use data to help consumers with their day-to-day oral health care. The Oral-B app is available as a free download from Apple?s App Store and syncs with the brand?s power brush.

?The Oral-B app helps users brush smarter, not harder, all based on dental professional standards,? said Kris Parlett, senior communications manager of global Oral-B Power, Cincinnati.

?With sound recognition technology to track how long a user is brushing, a quadrant guide to ensure a user is brushing each area of the mouth sufficiently, and news, weather and oral care tips to keep users engaged throughout their brushing sessions, the Oral-B app allows for a smarter and more thorough clean,? he said.

Brushing companion
The app leverages the mobile device?s microphone to pick up on the sound frequency when either an Oral-B Professional or Oral-B Deep Sweep power brush is being used.

The app includes a timer that lets consumers set a two-minute brushing session, which is the recommended amount of time that dentists suggest for brushing your teeth.

 The timer is also broken up into sections so consumers know how much time to allocate to each part of their mouth when brushing their teeth.

During the timed session, the app pulls in a feed of news events, weather, tips and calendar events to keep consumers entertained while they brush their teeth.

The app also includes a section with statistics that break down brushing sessions weekly and monthly to give consumers an idea of how effective they are at brushing their teeth.

Moreover, there is a section that compiles oral health tips and instructions for brushing teeth.

The app also alerts consumers when it is time to swap out their brush head.

Oral-B?s app also integrates with P&G?s everyday program that lets consumers receive samples, email newsletters and coupons.

The app is limited to the United States and Australia currently but will expand to the German, Britain and Japanese marketers in the coming months. An Android version of the app is also expected to roll out in the near future.

Streamlining day-to-day life
Consumer-packaged-goods brands have a significant opportunity to leverage mobile because of their reach even though some have been slow to adopt mobile and digital marketing.

However, apps are a main way that CPG brands are using mobile to create a direct path between a consumer and a brand.

Oral-B?s new app is an example of how CPG marketers can load mobile apps with features that keep consumers coming back with value-added content.

?We created this app to work in conjunction with the Oral-B power brush to leverage its sound-recognition technology, which tracks the length of time users spend brushing, and indicates when the dentist-recommended two minutes per session has been reached,? Mr. Parlett said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York