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Dental Dots Launches Media Campaign; Upstart Dental Product Company Putting $1M Into National Advertorials &PR.

Business &Medical Editors/Internet Writers

RESEDA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 2, 2000

In case America believed the only new businesses on the West Coast were the romping, venture capitalized Dot-coms with Superbowl ad budgets, shoestring start-up Dental Dots Inc., has quietly slipped its patented, disposable fingertip toothbrushes into drugstore displays in more than 10,000 retail outlets nationwide using savvy public relations efforts and simple print advertorials to drive consumers in.

The company will invest close to $1 million in its media plan and marketing efforts this year, a 10-fold increase from its modest launch budget of $150,000 in 1999.

In 2000, Dental Dots' advertorials will appear in Cosmopolitan, Glamour and GQ beginning in March, and will expand to eight more national magazines with monthly frequency through December. The company also counts national catalog promotions such as SkyMall, in the media mix.

With only a minuscule promotion budget in 1999 to launch Dental Dots(R) in the competitive $40 billion annual oral hygiene and personal care category, founder and President John Stoltzfus, 37, realized early that he would need moxie, not money, to make his innovative, disposable fingertip toothbrush successful.

&uot;There was no way we could come up with the kind of cash we'd need to match the noise-level that the big consumer dental product companies can generate when they do a product launch, so we had to go an alternative route,&uot; Stoltzfus said.

The privately funded, closely held, manufacturer's &uot;alternative route&uot; included using Malibu, Calif.-based boutique Brown &Dutch Public Relations (www.bdpr.com, 310/456-7151), and Los Angeles-based creative firm, Preston Davis West (310/478-5091), to launch Dental Dots on a shoestring last year.

Dental Dots launched its products in 1999 with the &uot;Got Your Dot?&uot; public relations campaign designed by Brown &Dutch. The campaign was a hit with radio, TV and print journalists, and led to editorial attention across the United States and around the world.

Distribution for Dental Dots now includes Longs, Eckerd, Walgreens, A&, Meijer, Horton &Converse, Kinney Drug, Big Y and others in the U.S. Following international news coverage, Dental Dots are now also on drugstore shelves in France and Australia.

&uot;We got ten times more coverage in the media by launching with public relations than we could ever have hoped to buy with advertising. It really worked well for us,&uot; Stoltzfus said. The success of Dental Dots thus far means Dental Dots can invest in a media plan this year that includes both public relations efforts and frequent advertorials in nearly a dozen national magazines.

Brown &Dutch designed a grassroots &uot;Got Your Dot?&uot; publicity effort began in July 1999 and was aimed at anyone &uot;on the go.&uot; The campaign included a media tour to New York's magazine mecca for Stoltzfus.

This was followed up by an in-your-face series of &uot;teaser postcards&uot; designed by Preston Davis West that featured vintage sepia-toned characters threatening to &uot;give the finger&uot; to anyone with spinach in their teeth or garlic on their breath.

To reach the X-generation demographic, Brown &Dutch created the &uot;Get Lucky Pak,&uot; featuring two Dental Dots(R) and a condom, and sent them to TV talk-show hosts and syndicated cable and radio shows. The firm also used them at extreme sporting events such as the Panasonic Beach Games and the National In-Line Skate Series.

Dental Dots, Inc., in Reseda, (www.dentaldots.com, 800/700-9409) holds three U.S. Patents for Dental Dots(R), The Fingertip(TM) Toothbrush. They are an ingeniously portable way to give the mouth an impromptu cleaning anytime, anywhere. Individually blister-packed, Dental Dots are nylon pads with pre-applied fluoride toothpaste with adhesive backing. Dental Dots remove food particles as well as freshen breath. No need to moisten or rinse. Dental dots come in two minty flavors and have an MSRP of $1.99 for the six-pack, and $4.99 for the 18-pack.

Note to Editors: Press Kit Materials also available online at www.bdpr.com
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 2, 2000
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