Sensodyne’s ‘Native Content’ Strategy Is A Winning Formula – Strategy With RS

Sensodyne wants to own ‘sensitivity’ in the heart & mind of its customers. It also knows that it may not be successful in achieving this objective by merely putting out ‘advertisement’ – research indicates that majority of people are likely to ignore them or may not believe them – because experience has taught them that an advertisement contains biased,1 – sided information which the company puts out so that buying decision is made in there favor.

Sensodyne has therefore shunned traditional ‘advertising’ route & instead opted for ‘Native content’ strategy – content which customers feel is in their interest to seek out & consume. Therefore customers seek out such content & consume in a positive frame of mind & are willing to be guided by information – result – many people end up taking decision favoring the company … which is what the company eventually desires.

Reference the advertisement above … it has the following insights embedded in it:

Self discovery leading to better quality engagement with the content: The strategy focus on following a self discovery / quiz format. People, when they take the quiz, are likely to spend ‘quality’ time engaging with the ‘native’ content
Customized output: Since the content is in a quiz format hence the output for each customers is likely to be ‘customized’.
Expert bias: We tend to be persuaded by an expert more than by others. The presence of a doctor would tacitly indicate to readers it is an expert voicing the opinion … the believability of the message will be better.
House Color: The content has a predominate ‘blue & white’ look & feel. These also seem to the House color of the brand. Remember ‘house color’ have the power of improving brand recognition by up to 70%.

But if I where the decision maker I would also do the following changes to improve the impact:

1) Replace the frown on the doctor’s face with a smile: The frown on the doctors face, subliminally, indicates that he is worried .. not in control of the situation. I would replace it with a smiling face. Why? Because when a person smiles, they appear more approachable, more likable & more knowledgeable; while the frown has just the opposite effect.

2) Do away with the ‘red’ spot on tooth: I feel the reason for placing ‘blood mark’ on the tooth is to evoke fear among people & hoping that ‘fear factor’ will drive people to act in favor of the brand! I feel the red spot should be removed … the brand should motivate people to use Sensodyne to ensure that ‘blood’ spot never appears on their tooth.
If you were a decison maker would you green light this advertisement?




In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous Strategy with RS posts can be found here