Oral-B taps into consumers’ ideas to accelerate innovation in oral care

Paris, 1st May 2014: Oral-B has launched the world’s first connected toothbrush to help consumers improve their oral health. The brand sought inspiration for this new product by crowdsourcing ideas on eYeka, asking a community of consumers what a connected electrical toothbrush should offer to change their lives for the better. The outcome of this contest has not only helped Oral-B bring these innovations to market, but will fuel the brand’s innovation pipeline for the years to come.

To accelerate the development of the world’s first connected toothbrush, Oral-B launched an unbranded contest on eYeka’s crowdsourcing platform to seek original ideas on what such a product could offer consumers. In just 22 days, Oral-B received 67 unique and innovative ideas from community members in 24 countries across the globe.

Stephen Squire, BFO Marketing Director, Procter & Gamble commented, “We knew time was critical and the company that could launch the first product would have a huge first mover advantage. The eYeka community gave us a the head start needed and helped us anticipate some of the problems that we had to consider in the development of the product; in particular the importance of content, gamification, family interaction and socialisation.”

Out of these 67 creative ideas, Oral-B selected three winning ideas that came from Yao Peipei from China (“ypp1117” on eYeka), Javier Alcazar from Spain (“moebius” on eYeka) and Thibault Berrido from France (“thaubyas” on eYeka). The three winners shared €2,500 of prize money.

These three winning ideas, as well as the whole set of creative contributions, were analysed by eYeka, and helped Oral-B develop and bring a branded smartphone app to market in September 2013. This was followed in February 2014 by the launch of Oral-B’s SmartSeries, the world’s first ever Bluetooth connected toothbrush which leverages the app’s technology to help consumers get the most from their oral care routines.

François Pétavy, CEO, eYeka said, “Brands need to bring innovations that stand-out to market fast if they want to meet consumers’ ever increasing expectations. The fact that Oral-B could launch this revolutionary product in record time and feed its innovation pipeline for the years to come shows that crowdsourcing with consumers offers the breadth of freshness needed to deliver the breakthroughs that resonate.”

The app recognizes the brush’s motor sound and automatically activates a timer for a dentist-recommended two-minute brushing session. It also keeps track of your brushing technique and progress through comprehensive stats and notifies users when it is time to change the brush head. The app also offers oral care tips as well as news and entertainment to make brushing your teeth more enjoyable.

Squire added, “Thanks to the richness of the ideas, we have successfully made interactivity the new vector of innovation for Oral-B. It opened thousands of opportunities that are now feeding our Initiative Master Plan.”

The new Oral-B SmartSeries interactive electric toothbrush with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity is available in limited quantities in Germany this spring. It will be available worldwide in June 2014. The new Oral-B App is available on Apple’s app store and an Android version will be launched in August 2014.

Contest Winner Quotes:

Yao Peipei, ‘ypp1117’: “I participated in this contest because when I first saw the brief, I found it particularly interesting and challenging. The idea came when I was brushing my teeth and I added in new ideas and more details when I brushed them every morning.  While working on my creation, I always asked myself: how can I make the process of brushing teeth more efficient and interesting, both for adults and for kids?

“I really put a lot of effort into this contest and I thought the brand would like my idea. Still, I was excited to know that I had really won! Winning on eYeka gave me so much confidence and participating in such creative contest is part of my life now.”

Javier Alcázar, ‘moebius’: “These kind of contests are exciting because they involve a high degree of creativity. You have the chance to create something that can be the basis for a change; something that had not been done before and challenges the norm.

“The idea of “Let’s Play” is the result of my experience of trying  to motivate my children to brush their teeth daily. Their education is the most important thing to us as parents. For them (10 year old twins) the most important thing is play. I mixed what is important to them and what is important to us. Winning a prize is always very gratifying, especially in a community like eYeka where you can find so many people with great talent!”

Thibault Berrido, ‘Thaubyas’: “I work in a design collective called “dafox” which aims to make design and communication accessible to all. With the internet and touch screens, a lot of new experimentations are possible, and we want to encourage this experimentation. eYeka is a fabulous playground to experiment with new ideas, and in this contest I liked the fact that I could really experiment by adapting game mechanisms to oral care, which is not the most fun chore in our daily life.

When I found out that I won, I was surprised and happy because it acknowledges the quality of my ideas, which is always pleasant. I donated all the prize money to a French charity called Reporters Sans Frontières because it’s a social cause I deeply care about.”

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