389 Interpace Parkway
Parsippany, New Jersey 07054
Telephone: (973) 909-2000
Fax: (973) 909-3051
Web site: www.cadburyadams.com
When pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. bought its competitor Warner-Lambert Company in 2000, it also acquired its Adams confectionary division and its gum brands Trident, Dentyne, and Chiclets. At the time, sugarless chewing-gum brands were taking the lead in retail gum sales as health-conscious consumers chose alternatives to sugary treats. In 2003 total sales of sugarless gum sales were $578.5 million, while sugared gum achieved $309.3 million in total sales. The top market position that year was held by Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company's brand Extra, with a 26 percent dollar share. Wrigley's Eclipse, with a 16 percent dollar share, held the number two spot. Number three was Pfizer's Trident, with sales of $82.6 million and a 14.8 percent dollar share.
To help Pfizer drive sales of Trident, ad agency J. Walter Thompson created a new marketing campaign for the brand that was based on Trident's 30-year-old claim that it was recommended by four out of five dentists to their patients who chewed gum. The campaign, which was limited to television, put a humorous spin on the answer to the question of why the fifth dentist did not recommend Trident. "Four Out of Five Dentists" spots began airing in January 2003. A month later Pfizer sold its Adams division, including the Trident brand, to London-based company Cadbury Schweppes. Cadbury Schweppes created an American subsidiary called Cadbury Adams and continued the "Four Out of Five Dentists" campaign through early 2005. Specific spending figures for the campaign were unavailable, but a report in Adweek noted that Cadbury spent approximately $5 to $10 million advertising the Trident brand in 2003.
The Trident television spot "Squirrel" earned accolades from the industry, including a mention on Adweek's Best Spots list. Not all comments about the Trident commercials were positive, however. An article in Advertising Age questioned whether consumers under 35 years old—the brand's target audience—would get the reference to the old slogan. Some consumers also complained that the "Ride" spot, which showed the fifth dentist falling off a roller coaster, was in bad taste.
In 1899 a collaboration between Thomas Adams, Edward Beeman, and William White resulted in the founding of the American Chicle Group and the creation of chewing-gum brands such as Chiclets. In 1916 the company introduced the first gum touted as having oral-hygiene benefits: Dentyne. Following concerns expressed by consumers about the effects of sugar on their dental health, the company introduced Trident, a sugarless
gum, in 1964. Warner-Lambert Company, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, acquired the American Chicle Group in 1962; three decades later Warner-Lambert changed the name of its U.S. confectionary division from American Chicle Group to Adams.
In 2000, following a three-month takeover battle, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer bought the Warner-Lambert Company for $90 billion. Referring to the Adams segment as a "noncore" business, Pfizer sold it to Cadbury Schweppes in February 2003 for $4.2 billion. Just weeks prior to the sale, Pfizer launched Trident gum's "Four Out of Five Dentists" campaign. After the acquisition Cadbury...