BriteSmile Taps DraftWorldwide Chicago

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BriteSmile Inc., a teeth-whitening system provider, appointed DraftWorldwide Chicago as its agency of record to position the company as the professional-grade leader in this growing market.

The agency replaces agency of record for creative Respond2 and media buyer C-Media, both of Portland, OR. There was no review. Walnut Creek, CA-based BrightSmile executives approached DraftWorldwide, asked for a presentation and awarded the account.

"Their challenge is that there's going to be a big player in this category and there's going to be a niche player, and the rest are going to go away," said Bill Gorski, senior executive vice president and director of direct marketing at DraftWorldwide Chicago. "That's what you typically see in a new category. They want to be the professional-grade solution in the niche."

BriteSmile's system whitens teeth in one hour with no damage to enamel or gum, the company claims. Good for life, the $400 to $600 treatment is available at select dentists, BriteSmile teeth-whitening spas and associated centers.

The 3-year-old marketer charged DraftWorldwide with three responsibilities. First, reposition the brand. The agency will offer strategy, branding and planning advice. Next, drive leads through direct response ads with toll-free numbers across television, local and national print, mail and the Internet.

Finally, the agency will help refine BriteSmile's back end and infrastructure like the call center operation, database management, lead management system and segmentation process. Inbound telemarketing is critical. Call-center representatives will accept prepaid appointments to whiten teeth at a dentist in the consumer's plan or a recommended BriteSmile center, associates or spa.

"This creates a whole lot of comfort for the dental practice, getting more prepays," Gorski said. "It avoids no-shows."

The campaign breaks in the first quarter.

ID Media, the world's leading direct marketing media services firm, will plan and buy media for BriteSmile out of its Los Angeles and New York offices. DraftWorldwide and ID Media are owned by ad agency holding conglomerate Interpublic Group of Companies Inc., New York.

DraftWorldwide has its work cut out. Not only will it have to drive demand for the initial teeth-whitening treatment, it also has to push after-treatment BriteSmile products like toothpastes, mint gum and mouthwash to continue the relationship with the customer.

Moreover, the teeth-whitening category has sprung to life. Colgate-Palmolive Co. and Procter & Gamble Co.'s Crest division are two major players pumping millions to push their own over-the-counter teeth-whitening remedies. Though they are not permanent solutions like BriteSmile's, the Colgate gels and Crest whitening strips are vastly cheaper.

"The biggest challenge at this point is positioning the brand," Gorski said. "Think about competitors like Colgate and P&G. How does BriteSmile emerge from the clutter and get a share?"


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