Response Advertising – Philip’s Sonicare VS Colgate #BrushSwap

by leeshb

I’ve noticed that more brands have been taking the risk/leaping at the chance to make response ad’s when A) they can make a response to headline news  or B) their competitors have had a disaster. In this case, electronics brand Phillip’s has done the latter.

This week hasn’t been great for Colgate’s PR as their “Big Electronic Brush Swap” or better known on Twitter as #BrushSwap (an initiative where consumers are asked to bring their old electronic toothbrushes for a brand new one) at Waterloo Station gained a much larger audience than expected. The first 150 toothbrushes were given away by 7am, leaving many customers unhappy after queuing.


Although Colgate have issued apologies and have increased the promotional campaign, Phillip’s have decided to rub salt in the wound by issuing a response ad for their rival Sonicare electronic toothbrush brand. The print ad reads ‘The best things in life aren’t free’ and has been placed digitally in Waterloo Station itself and in print – in both The Times and The Evening Standard.

phillips 'best things in life aren't free' campaign_0

Ouch! Do you think it’s right for brands to get a leg up on other brands mistakes? Or does it lack creativity? Let me know your thoughts!