P&G Intros First Oral-B Floss Pick

Procter & Gamble will extend its Oral-B floss line into pick form with the launch of its new Oral-B Advantages Floss Pick next month.

The initiative marks the brand’s first foray into pick flossing as a way to encourage consumers to floss more often. “People know they should be flossing, but so often they don’t because the experience can be too messy and uncomfortable,” said P&G rep Allison Yang. “We designed these picks to give consumers a more enjoyable flossing experience with an easy-to-use design.”

The picks, which hit shelves mid-September, are available in two flavors: Original and Cool Mint.

The new product will rely on consumers’ word-of-mouth and bloggers to tout the flossing experience. Tagline for the pick is, “Say yes to the experience you’ve been waiting for.” However Oral-B has looked to buzz building methods like using runway models to promote its Pulsonic line.

Launching an array of oral care products in down economy might seem like bad timing, however the category is typically recession proof, said John Faucher, an analyst with JPMorgan, New York, which has an investment banking relationship with P&G. “People will brush their teeth no matter what. At least we hope so. Or else human interaction over the next 12 months will be rather unpleasant.”

He also noted the oral care category has very little private label penetration, as consumers are more cautious about what they buy when it comes to putting things in their mouth.

The floss has the added benefit of being the only Oral-B product with a recyclable plastic handle. P&G, however, also utilizes recyclable products across its other oral care brands, including recycled plastic bottles for its Scope and Crest Pro-Health mouthwashes.

P&G spent $99 million advertising the Oral-B brand in 2007 and $2 million through March of this year, excluding online, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.