The Colgate-Palmolive brand is a very popular household name and has been with us since the 1920s. When I was young, I knew of only one toothpaste brand, Colgate and 1 soap brand, Palmolive. Many times my aunts asked me to buy another toothpaste and soap brands in the nearby sari-sari store. I went home carrying Colgate and Palmolive. In my young, naive mind, all toothpastes were called Colgate and all soaps were Palmolive, hahahaha… I’m sure some of you can relate, lol. And now after 90 years, still going strong and keeping Filipinos smiling!
Colgate-Palmolive Philippines celebrates 90 years of operations in the country, providing generations of Filipinos with quality brands for oral care, personal care and home care such as Colgate, Palmolive, Tender Care, Gard, Axion and Ajax.
The Palmolive Company Philippines was established in 1926 with an office in the Binondo district of Manila with just five employees. Products sold during those days included Pompeia cosmetics, Octagon laundry powder and Crystal White laundry bar.
It merged with Peet Brothers the following year and with Colgate Company in 1928. Popular products such as Colgate Ribbon dental cream and Cashmere Bouquet toiletries were added to the product range along with Palmolive soaps, pushing accelerated growth for the next few years. Products at that time were delivered to stores by carabao or horse-drawn carts.
In 1941, during World War II, invading soldiers sealed the office and looted the warehouse. Loyal employees were instructed by their imprisoned manager to preserve company records. Two employees managed to enter the office but couldn’t escape with the ledgers.
They ended up manually copying all entries, word for word, for over a week. With records intact, the company was able to collect all receivables from insurance after the war and resume business.
Soon after, Ajax powder cleanser was introduced to the market and, in 1949, the company was incorporated as Colgate-Palmolive Philippines, Inc.
While the company may have begun by importing products from the US, growing demand for its brands prompted it to inaugurate a manufacturing plant in Makati in 1951 and to establish a provincial warehouse in Cebu in 1959.
Colgate-Palmolive Philippines was the first company to advertise in color in 1966 when local TV advertising switched from black-and-white to color.
The Palmolive Naturals soap “I can feel it” tagline from the 1987 TV commercial, which featured Alice Dixson and her iconic shoulder shrug choreography, was adopted globally in 1991 and eventually won a Pilak Award in 2002, representing the best Philippine ads of the last 50 years.
In 2007, Colgate’s nationwide Super Mega Brushing campaign earned it a Guinness World Record for most number of children brushing their teeth at the same time. A total of 41,000 students participated in Manila, Cebu and Davao.
The Palmolive Naturals “Bounce” music video, which featured three of the country’s biggest stars: Julia Barretto, Janella Salvador and Liza Soberano, was hailed as one of the top 10 performing ads on YouTube in 2015.
One of the core values of the company is caring for the communities where it is present. The Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program has been supporting oral health education across the country through free dental screenings and tooth-brushing drills, distribution of oral care kits, and integrating oral health education materials with Kinder and 1st Grade school curricula. This is made possible by the company’s partnership with the Department of Education for nearly 2 decades.
Photo: Colgate Philippines Instagram
Through its collaboration with the Philippine Association of Dental Colleges since 2001, the company has sponsored various symposia on dental health as well as provided more than 200 scholarship grants to dentistry students nationwide.
Colgate has also been an exclusive partner of the Philippine Dental Association’s annual Kabarangay sa Dental Health Program, raising oral health awareness all over the country through free dental check-ups and product sampling.
As part of its 90th year activities, Colgate-Palmolive collaborated with Puregold to support Operation Smile Philippines, an NGO focused on providing free surgeries to indigent children afflicted with cleft lips/palates; as well as Robinsons Supermarket to help raise funds for World Vision Philippines, an NGO that provides assistance to impoverished children.
Colgate continues to be the Oral Care brand most recommended by Dentists* and Palmolive remains to be the #1 Personal Care brand, in the Philippines**.
* IPSOS Dentist Recommendation Survey 2016
** Kantar Brand Footprint 2016
About Colgate-Palmolive Philippines:
Colgate-Palmolive Philippines is a company focused on the distribution of household products and personal care products, such as body cleansing, hair care and oral hygiene products (including toothpaste, toothbrushes and professional oral care products sold by dentists). Currently, the company carries the following brands which are available nationwide: Colgate, Palmolive, Tender Care, Gard, Ajax and Axion.
Our three fundamental values — Caring, Global Teamwork and Continuous Improvement — are part of everything we do. They are the foundation for our business strategy and are reflected in every aspect of our work life.
Colgate-Palmolive celebrates 90 years of operations in the country on October 26, 2016. The company’s corporate office is located in McKinley Hill, Taguig.
Website: www.ColgatePalmolive.ph, www.Colgate.ph, www.Palmolive.ph
On Facebook/Youtube: Colgate Philippines, Palmolive Naturals, Gard Shampoo
On Instagram: Colgateph, Palmoliveph