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Colgate-Palmolive bets on SMS to spread healthy oral habits

Colgate-Palmolive is prioritizing its SMS initiatives this summer with a campaign that encourages consumers to make a pledge as part of its efforts for Oral Health Month.

The SMS campaign is part of Colgate-Palmolive?s bigger partnership with the Hispanic Dental Association. The campaign is being used to spread the word about the campaign in four key cities ? Miami, New York, Los Angeles and Houston.

?Hispanics over-index for many things mobile, including SMS,? said Jeff Hasen, Seattle-based mobile marketing consultant.

?This program has the important elements of ease, a feel-good component, and the idea that an individual can affect change,? he said.

Mr. Hasen is not is not affiliated with Colgate-Palmolive. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Colgate-Palmolive did not meet press deadline.

Opted-in users
The companies are partnering together for Oral Health Month, which kicks off on July 1.

The theme for the campaign this year is ?Unite for a world of healthy smiles.?

As part of the campaign?s initiatives, consumers are encouraged to text in the keyword SONRIE to the short code 24474.

Once the text message is received, they are sent an SMS message that prompts them to type in their ZIP code in one of four cities ? Los Angeles, Houston, New York and Miami.

When consumers reply back with their ZIP code, two messages are sent back to users.

The first one ties into the campaign?s message and encourages consumers to brush their teeth twice a day, use mouthwash and visit the dentist.

The second message encourages consumers to take the pledge with a link that outlines the donation details.

Additionally, the message opts users into further messages from Colgate, which is a great way for the brand to build up its list from its partnership with the Hispanic Dental Association.

Spreading the word
In addition to SMS, Colgate-Palmolive has also set up a microsite at as part of its partnership.

Consumers can toggle between English and Spanish versions of the site to learn more about different activities during Oral Health Month as well as access oral health tips.

The site also includes information about the Hispanic Dental Association.

According to data from the Hispanic Dental Association, 40 percent of Hispanic adults have an untreated oral health disease. This number is twice as high as non-Hispanic consumers.

Since the demographic tends to over-index on mobile, spreading the word about the campaign via SMS is a natural way for Colgate-Palmolive to get the word out about the campaign.

?If promoted, it definitely has a chance to make a difference, have consumers think highly of the brand, and to be repeated,? Mr. Hasen said.

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