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2019 Grand Prix Winner: Sensodyne Daily Care Toothbrush

GlaxoSmithKline and DCA Design International have won the 2019 DBA Design Effectiveness Awards Grand Prix with the Sensodyne Daily Care Toothbrush; a quality toothbrush skilfully designed for the rural-Indian market to retail at an affordable 30 Rupees.


Rural India presents a big opportunity for oral care brands. As awareness of oral health grows, people are looking for alternatives to the less effective toothpowder they have always used and sales of toothbrushes are increasing, up by 11% across India.

With the nascent market growing at pace, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) recognised that gaining early access with a new toothbrush for sensitive teeth could potentially deliver significant market share growth. But with low household incomes, price is a major barrier.

To persuade consumers to buy into the Sensodyne brand, the challenge for GSK and agency DCA Design International was to create a toothbrush specifically designed for the Indian market that would retail at the low-cost of no more than 30 rupees. That’s about 30 pence; and is a price considerably cheaper than any of GSK’s existing toothbrushes on the market. 

In order to reach the target market, a vast and diverse network of small, independent store owners who only sell low cost items, would also need to be persuaded to stock the toothbrush. Whilst overcoming the price barrier was key, for GSK it was also fundamental that the toothbrush design retained the Sensodyne brand’s quality features and design cues; it needed to be ergonomic, with a high-quality look and feel. The strategic approach to the project was defined by finding a low-cost way of designing and manufacturing a toothbrush that didn’t compromise on quality. 

It resulted in a skilful and holistic design approach which meticulously unpicked the entire process behind the design and manufacture of a toothbrush to meet these objectives, identifying as many efficiencies throughout the supply chain as possible. This fully integrated process led to the creation of a product that eliminates price as a barrier and has successfully persuaded rural dwellers to trial a more premium product. The number of Sensodyne Daily Care toothbrushes sold in the first six months alone exceeded delivery forecasts four times over, with the toothbrush encouraging millions of people to change their oral hygiene routine.   

Sensodyne Daily Care Toothbrush by GlaxoSmithKline and DCA Design International
Sensodyne Daily Care Toothbrush by GlaxoSmithKline and DCA Design International

Merchandised using a simple point-of-sale hanger, attached to an existing shelf in the store, the toothbrush has to work hard by itself to catch shoppers’ attention and successfully stands out in a visually cluttered store environment. With its premium cues and bright colours, it is attractive, affordable, and communicates Sensodyne’s visual brand language and the product’s value proposition. 

The smart use of materials and innovative design ensure the toothbrush is featherweight, weighing in at just 9.4 grams (7.6 grams less than industry standard) making it more efficient to produce and transport. The design solution’s manufacturing cycle is exceptionally rapid (37% faster than a typical toothbrush) and despite being made using 45% less material, it’s still premium looking, feels like a toothbrush should, and cleans sensitive teeth effectively. 

file3These efficiencies have enabled crucial savings to be passed onto the consumer at point of sale. As a result, the Sensodyne Daily Care toothbrush is cost effective enough for thousands of small store owners, scattered across rural India, to sell and its driven wider distribution, increasing Sensodyne’s toothbrush retail outlets by 17%. 

Crucially, as a direct result of the success of the low-cost, lightweight, premium-looking toothbrush, Sensodyne has increased its share of the toothbrush market in India. It’s opened up a whole new market for GSK and established the brand with a new segment of consumers.

About the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards

thinkFounded in 1989, the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards recognise impactful, wide-ranging examples of design that have had a tangible and measurable impact upon business and societal success. Judged by a broad range of business leaders and entered jointly by client and designer, the Awards draw focus onto design’s strategic and commercial value to business and society.

Prestigious and authoritative, the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards is the only award scheme that uses commercial data as a key judging criteria. Nowhere is the quality and effectiveness of the design industry’s offer more evident than across the case studies recognised in the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards.

To read about the 2019 DBA Design Effectiveness Award winners announced at the ceremony on Wednesday 12 June, or for details of next year’s awards programme, go to





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