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Smile, please!
Through real-life examples, Colgate Palmolive encourages people to adopt a positive attitude

Shruti Venkatesh

Noted comedian, actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin once famously said, ‘I have many problems in my life. But my lips don't know that. They always smile.’ In fact, countless films, novels and plays have been woven around the premise of how one overcomes difficulties with a smile – or a positive attitude. And now, consumer products major Colgate-Palmolive has found an endearing way to weave this idea into its new campaign ‘Smile Karo Aur Shuru Ho Jao’. This is in line with the brand’s motto - ‘Everyone deserves a future they can smile about’.

“The thought behind our campaign is rooted in the human insight that whenever we embark on a significant journey in life, despite our inhibitions or tough circumstances, our courage and optimism come alive through our smile of self-belief and hope,” says Arvind Chintamani, vice president-marketing, Colgate-Palmolive. Under the campaign, Colgate rolled out two television commercials – one shows a woman adopting a girl child, while the other has a woman taking over as the CEO in her father’s company.

More recently, the company rolled out a series of inspirational films under the campaign based on real-life role models. “Colgate’s voice has always been authentic. Hence, to give wings to such a powerful expression of the brand, it was important to select real-life heroes who, at first glance, perhaps seem like ordinary people but truly stand-out because of what they chose to do with their life’s unique set of challenges,” says Viswanathan Ganesan, senior vice president, Red Fuse Communications.

In the first film, the audience gets to meet Anand Arnold, wheelchair bodybuilder and Mr. Olympia 2018. He narrates his inspiring story about how he didn’t let the wheelchair contain his ambitions. His dedication and unwavering focus helped him overcome physical limitations to become India’s first wheelchair bodybuilder, with over 45 national and international titles. Similarly, the second film introduces the viewers to Haimanti Sen, a college student who makes the skywalk her ‘classroom’ for street children. Despite several hurdles – unhygienic conditions, opposition from authorities – she managed to continue her classes. Today, four of the kids she taught are ready to join a formal school, which she believes is her biggest accomplishment.

The campaign reflects Colgate’s overarching message of hope and optimism. Chintamani says these stories act as a reminder of what one may be able to achieve through sheer grit and determination. Also, roping in real-life achievers in the films make it more relatable to the audience. Suffice to say that by going beyond pure marketing, these engaging and inspirational films take the ‘Colgate Smile’ to a whole new level. So, the next time life throws a curve ball at you, remember to “Smile, please!”

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