We tried, but couldn’t sell Crest for $35.00 a Tube!

Real Estate Agent with McCall Realty
Crest at $35.00 a Tube! Come one, come all.Procter and Gamble just fired us. They gave us the right to sell Crest for $35.00 a tube for the last six months and we didn’t get one offer. The market is bad, we knew that, but we advertised the hell out of it. They said we’re through, and now they’re going to give this opportunity to someone else (oh darn!).

“But we do advertising better than anybody”, we told them. “You didn’t produce”, Procter growled as Gamble snarled through grimaced, Crest -streaked pearly whites, “You didn’t advertise it Right!” (They are such a lovely couple.)

We can’t, for the life of us, figure out why it didn’t sell. Lets see how we advertised it, and maybe you can tell us where we screwed up.

80% of all people with a toothbrush look here first. So this is where we targeted our advertising first.
  • We hit all of the usual and customary sites, including Who’s Who in Luxury Toothpaste and Luxe Dental Portfolio.
  • We even put it on Craig’s List.
  • A also did a custom Website with a virtual tour of a good mouth brushing and a Dental Tips Blog.

The Dental Registry (DLS):
We’re all over it, and Dental.com (DAR) too.

Sometimes it's hard to outsmart a Tasmanian Devil.Television:
We did co-branded television and print campaigns. They were saturative, and based on focus group findings of what people most expect in their high-end toothpaste.
  • Campaign spokesanimal was Bugs Bunny.
  • Footage of Bugs had starlight filters on his two front teeth, which sparkled a plenty from every angle.
  • Featured celebrity endorsements from Mr Ed, Francis the Talking Mule, Bucky Beaver and a cable television special targeted to the youth demographic of Butthead getting his braces off. (Like Butthead, we still couldn’t score.)
Coordinated print campaign that ran concordant to television spots.
  • Bugs was featured first, with teeth prominent in all print ads. (Starlights added graphically to teeth.)
  • Included Scratch and Sniff Pages in Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan and other high profile publications.
National PR campaign to generate news, plus “Name That Rabbit” contest in local newspapers.

Direct Mail:
Postcard campaign to everyone in our data base who has a mouth.

Grocery Stores:
  • Point of Purchase Displays.
  • End Aisle Free Brushing stations w/ teaser samples.

We were exhausted when it was all over. No stone was unturned in our effort, yet no sales.

What Did We Do Wrong?
That is the question. And we have no idea.

  • With everything we did, why could we not sell Crest for $35.00 a tube?
  • What can we do to stop Procter and Gamble from giving someone else this opportunity?
  • What does selling Crest for $35.00 a tube have to do with selling a house?

We appreciate your feedback.

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Natalie Langford
Realty Negotiations - Winchester, VA
Winchester, VA Real Estate

Thanks to Rich Jacobson, I found this post.  It's, as some one said, flippin' outrageous and funny.  You wrote this before I joined AR.  I'm so happy I found it! 


Jan 03, 2008 06:46 AM #133
Mary Lascelles
Moving Links 4 You - Redding, CA
Moving Coordinator/Relocation Director
Interesting how you put it in toothpaste terms (something we're not so attached to - I hope!) and a lightbult goes on!  I think it's excellent and will share with my office located a few hours from you in Redding.  How many months ago did you write this?  And it keeps on giving... How cool is that?
Jan 03, 2008 08:45 AM #134
Richard D. Ferris
AmcAppraisalsinc.com - Clermont, FL
Florida State Certified (FHA) Appraiser

Perhaps a good visual up front from a disinterested 3rd party to show the historical price/tube of other leading brands?  I mean - substitution in this market is key, right?Historical Crest Sales

With current prices now in the $2.00/tube range....why on earth would anyone pay $35 ?   This is certainly good evidence of why toothpaste appraisals are needed to convince seller's of the truth.

A quality, state certified tooth past appraiser (St Cert TPA) would clearly have made your pricing model competitive in the market!


Richard D Ferris
Fl St Cert TPA #0014

Dec 26, 2008 04:15 AM #135
Jack LeVine
Bella Vegas Homes - Las Vegas, NV
Mid Century Modern Homes and Historic neighborhood

Great writing. Here in Vegas, there's plenty of 5 dollar toothpaste. The 35 dollar tubes arent' on the market at all anymore. All I have is the crappiest of homes for sale. No one here is on the market anymore unless they're already in trouble, (that includes the banks).

Dec 26, 2008 04:16 AM #136
Wally Conway
HomePro Inspections - Jacksonville, FL
Certified Master Inspector-Author-Media Expert

Answer:  No matter the marketing magic, every effort, expense and activity is for naught if it's not priced right!

Dec 26, 2008 04:16 AM #137
TheMillsTeam YourSebringRealtors
Advantage Realty #1 - Sebring, FL

GREAT POST!!!!! And so down to the point! Wow!

I guess most if not all people with teeth looking to buy toothpaste opted for the 88 cent WalMart brand. Comes in a tube, looks like toothpaste, tastes like toothpaste - must be toothpaste!

Dec 26, 2008 05:06 AM #138
Mike Hughes
Mike Hughes Team - Hughes Residential - Newton, MA
Services Newton, Brookline, Lexington, Waltham & W

Hi Gary,

Great post ... this twist definitely illustrates the reality of pricing.  I'm planning to use this example the next time I talk with a seller.  Thanks for the great idea ... it's especially good because it's "lite."

Best regards,

Dec 26, 2008 06:11 AM #139
Vicente A. Martinez
Prudential Douglas Elliman Licensed Real Estate Salesperson - Woodhaven, NY
Realtor, Brooklyn - Long Island - Queens Homes

Loved this post!!! I just wish I could have rated this article. This was certainly one of the most creative pieces I've seen in terms of pricing the product to sell... right from the start. On a scale of 1 to 10 it's definitely a 10!

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Dec 26, 2008 10:39 PM #141
REALTOR - Buy or Sell in Any Season!

Great Post!  I have one; everyone has one - a Seller we would like to give this to.  I hereby resolve to bail on my overpriced listing and not take another in 2009!  This makes it all so clear - - we are not miracle workers, we are marketers!  Thanks for letting us all see the humor in the error of our ways.

Dec 27, 2008 12:21 AM #142
Irina Netchaev
Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc. - Pasadena, CA
Pasadena CA Real Estate

Richard, FANTASTIC post!  It's been awhile since I visited... so sorry.  As always, you hit it right on the "nose". 

Happy New Year my friend!  I promise I'll be back soon.  :-)

Dec 27, 2008 04:02 AM #143
Karen Hurst
Rhode Island Waterfront!

I still love this post and I always use the analogy when I speak with others. Guess this post is a classic now.

Dec 27, 2008 08:45 AM #144
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

But will I offend my sellers if I send this along in my newsletter?

Dec 27, 2008 09:08 AM #146
Jenny Durling
L.A. Property Solutions - Los Angeles, CA
For Los Angeles real estate help 213-215-4758

Thanks for the laugh.  I'll bet alot of agents with overpriced listings wouldn't even make the connection to your post!

Dec 27, 2008 11:46 AM #147
Thomas Johnson
RE/MAX TOP - Houston, TX
SRES, Green

Too funny


Leave the gun.  Bring the cannoli.



Dec 27, 2008 02:34 PM #148
Kim Pennington
Prudential Woodmont Realty - Franklin, TN

Now that you've spent so much money and time on advertising, Proctor & Gamble will understand the market better and now list with me.  Clearly you don't know the market but I promise I won't bad mouth you to P&G.  Surely they know by now that they have Crest priced way way too high and will be happy to lower the price to where it should have been in the beginning.  Then, guess what, I'll end up with the commission.  Yeah for me!

Loved the post!!!!!  LOL!!!!!!

Kim Pennington, Prudential Woodmont Realty, Music City USA

Dec 28, 2008 01:13 AM #149
Sonja Adams
Samson Proprties - Purcellville, VA

Well....I found a tube for 9.99 on the internet!  Loved this post!

Dec 29, 2008 01:14 AM #150
Kelsey Barklow
Evans & Evans Real Estate - Johnson City, TN
423/948-9154, Marne Drinnon 423/202-2277

Okay, point well taken. I agree, no more overpriced listings in 2009! Thanks for the great analogy.

BTW - I love Tahoe. I grew up in Sacramento/Stockton/Bay Area and spent lots of time at both North and South shores. I just visited family friends in Zephyr Cove in September. Still as beautiful as ever.

Dec 29, 2008 01:11 PM #151
Lanette Branch
RE/MAX Components - Fallston, MD

BaHa...I've wracked my brain and I just can't figure it out either!  No takers at $35/tube?  People wouldn't know a friggin' bargain if it smacked 'em upside the head...

Apr 22, 2009 10:28 AM #152
Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County

Gary, another ActiveRain-er pointed me to this post. Excellent! Very creative and certainly provided a much needed laugh. Thank you!


Dec 13, 2009 02:03 AM #153
Karen Hurst
Rhode Island Waterfront!

Wish I could boot this post back up...tried liking it on Facebook and will see if that works. This is my all time favorite on AR!!

Oct 02, 2010 03:15 AM #154
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