Unilever’s Pepsodent Launches Walk Against Cavities
Unilever took the lead in the fight against oral cavity with its recent The Great Walk against cavities held in Lagos. The multinational is driving the campaign with its new Pepsodent anti cavity toothpaste. O’Lekan Babatunde, who took part exercise, writes that it’s a leader’s contribution to a vital social need.
In an apt demonstration of its market leadership role in Nigeria especially in the oral care segment, Unilever, last Friday, staged what it tagged ‘The Great Walk’, to the admiration of consumers, mostly youths, who joined to increase the number of participants every step of the way to the National Stadium, end point of the walk which commenced from Jibowu area of Yaba, Lagos.
The move is seen as a response to the Federal Ministry of Health’s call to increase awareness level on optimal oral health for not less than 50 percent of Nigerians. Accordingly, it behoved on the responsible market leader to respond to the national call. Despite being a Friday, the surging crowd enthusiastically joined in the walk from as early as 7:30am and savoured every bit of it. The crusade against oral cavities was also the excellent opportunity for Unilever to introduce the new Pepsodent cavity fighter toothpaste.
For the company’s Brand Building Director, David Okeme, the event is a simple walk across the streets of Lagos towards creating the desired awareness for oral health and subsequently, good oral behaviour that will lead to a gradual reduction in oral cavities among consumers.
Led by Okeme and other key official of the multinational company, the crusade attracted over a thousand participants including Nollywood celebrities who joined in the seven kilometer walk gleefully distributing fliers containing information on Pepsodent the Cavity Fighter to passers-by.
Speaking to M2 on the new Pepsodent which was launched later that evening, Okeme says that the new Pepsodent anti-cavity toothpaste is unique because it is designed to give benefit in full to the consumers. ‘Pepsodent does not only gives fluoride but also delivers 50 percent more calcium with its breakthrough active micro-calcium technology that fills tiny invisible holes before they become large painful cavities,’ he asserts.
According to him, Pepsodent’s breakthrough technology was first unveiled to members of the dental community at the just concluded IADR conference in Abuja. Members of the community were said to have commended the Unilever team for the introduction of the cavity fighter tooth paste, the first of its kind in the country.
Confirming this to M2 during the Walk, National President, Nigeria Dental Therapists Association, NDTA, Comrade Eddy Sajere, says he is really excited over the Pepsodent Walk because its bring a respite to practitioners and consumers.
‘My duty and that of other colleagues involves preventing teeth cavity or what is simply known as “hole in the teeth,” he explains, and continues that, ‘As an expert in the oral care field, I am confident in the new product having been exposed to the quality input that go into the formulation of the new Pepsodent.’
He also claims that dental experts have over time discovered that many toothpaste brands are very harsh due to the kind of reagents used in their formulation. ‘They cause problems to the gum and the teeth by eroding the vital areas making it easy for bacteria to penetrate the enamel of the teeth, resulting in cavities,’ he states.
It will be recalled that the Honourable Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, during the World Oral Health Day in Abuja recently noted that oral health means more than healthy teeth and the absence of disease. It actually describes a state of well being of the teeth, oral cavity, including the gums as well as supporting structures. The minister had also quoted the World Health Organization, WHO, finding that the oral disease burden in African Region, including Nigeria, follows a pattern of deterioration closely associated with poverty and economic growth.’
It is this state of affairs that Unilever aims to address with the introduction of Pepsodent the Cavity Fighter with the mission of ‘Protecting over 160 million Nigerian smiles.’ The slogan ‘Say No to Cavities’ was the message on the crusaders’ t-shirts marking the beginning of the fight against cavities.
Okeme also implored Nigerians to buy into the Pepsodent brand values of health, energy and vitality as typified by youth who made up most of the crusade. He further revealed that the new Pepsodent ensures that for 12 hours after use, bacteria do not affect the teeth. This lends credence to the ongoing global campaign that urges people brush twice daily in line to the WHO minimum routine.