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Behavior Change
Colgate Hoping to Rally Super Bowl Viewers to Save Water with Debut Ad

Colgate toothpastes and toothbrushes will not be the focus of the brand’s first-ever Super Bowl advertisement. Rather, it will be using its airtime to remind viewers to turn off the tap when brushing their teeth.

The 30-second Super Bowl spot, “Save Water,” will be similar to a 60-second advertisement that was developed for Colgate’s Latin America division last year, called “Making Every Drop of Water Count.” Created by Y&R Peru, the ad shows a man who leaves the tap running while he brushes his teeth. As the water flows into his sink, hands reach to fill a cup, fill a bowl, and wash a pear, and a little girl gets a drink of water. It concludes with a statement: “When you brush your teeth with the tap running, you waste over 10 liters of water.” (10 liters is about 2.6 gallons.) The ad ran in connection with World Water Day in Peru and Columbia in 2014 and 2015.

Colgate wanted to use the Super Bowl as a way to amplify the brand’s ongoing water conservation message in North America.

“We absolutely bought the [Super Bowl] ad for this piece of information,” Scott Campbell, General Manager for Integrated Marketing Communications, North America at Colgate-Palmolive, told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s an important venue for which we could communicate this in the biggest way possible.

“It’s an unusual type of messaging - it’s not really about a product or new news on a product,” he added. “It’s a message about our consumers and the use of our product that we think is interesting and different.”

The commercial will air at the two-minute warning in the second-half of the game, around the time viewers are likely preparing themselves for bed and getting ready to brush their teeth. Colgate-Palmolive advertised Speed Stick deodorant during the 2013 Super Bowl, but this is the first time that the Colgate oral healthcare brand will be in the spotlight. Super Bowl 50 - taking place on February 7, 2016 and airing on CBS - will also feature an ad from the winner of the Intuit Quickbooks Small Business Big Game competition, awarded to a game-changing, mission-driven startup.

Last February’s Super Bowl XLIX attracted the largest-ever audience for a US television program, with 114.4 million viewers. 30-second spots sold for as much as $4.5 million, and included commercials for Carl’s Jr’s “all natural” burgers and BMW’s all-electric i3. Super Bowl XLVIII also drew a record-breaking audience in 2014, and aired from MetLife Stadium, the first Certified Green Restaurant® stadium in the world.

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