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What we learnt comparing Close-Up and Oral-B Toothpaste



Toothpaste brands in Nigeria

In Nigeria, millions of people brush their teeth with different brands of toothpaste every day. The country’s large population size provides immense potentials for toothpaste manufacturers hoping to take their shares of the market. This explains why there are at least thirty different toothpaste brands available in the Nigerian market, examples of which are Dabur, Oral-B, Pepsodent, Colgate,  Close-Up, etc. Out of the lot, we have chosen to compare Close-Up and Oral-B in this week’s battle of the substitutes.

The history of Close-Up in Nigeria

Close-Up has had a long and successful history in Nigeria ever since its introduction in 1975 by Unilever. Being the only brand in the market for many years enabled it to garner millions of loyal consumers. Today, the brand is still one of the biggest in the country, thanks to good marketing strategies and widespread distribution channels.

Also, Close-Up is constantly being enhanced through innovation in quality, even as it is given needful visibility through creative advertisements. All these have helped to sustain its success.

Close-Up Nigeria is part of a global, very successful brand of gel toothpaste available in North America (USA and Canada), as well as India, Sri Lanka, etc. In Nigeria, the toothpaste brand is still manufactured by Unilever Nigeria Plc.

About Oral-B

Oral-B is relatively new in the market, having just been introduced in 2011. This makes it more than thirty years younger than Close-Up. Judging by its relative popularity and success however, it is almost difficult to believe that it has existed for barely a few years. Apparently, Oral-B is leveraging its quality standard and the impeccable track records of Procter & Gamble (its manufacturer) to ensure success.

Much like Close-Up, Oral-B is a global brand. In Nigeria, it is constantly undergoing modification and offering variants to consumers even as strategic advertisement is used to keep it visible.

Similarities between Close-Up and Oral-B

Virtually all toothpaste are composed of the same ingredients. What makes them unique, therefore, is the formulation, the packaging, and the marketing strategy utilised to sell the products’ benefits to the target audience. In this vein, both Close-Up and Oral-B are quality brands.  According to Nneka Emmanuel who uses Oral-B and Close-Up, “Both are good in terms of quality. Before the introduction of Oral-B, I used to only brush my teeth with Close-Up toothpaste. When Oral-B came and I tried it, I liked it immediately, just as much as I like Close-Up. So, I’ve been using both alternately ever since.”


Both brands are also manufactured by very reputable companies with good pedigrees. Procter & Gamble and Unilever are two of the biggest consumer goods producers in Nigeria, and indeed the world. For many years, they have been producing essential products that are used every day by Nigerians.

The products are also well-marketed. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons why Close-Up has remained relevant till date is because of the effective marketing strategy adopted by its manufacturer. Similarly, Oral-B was able to achieve astronomical growth, thanks in part to effective marketing.

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Oral-B Pro health

Oral-B Pro health

Both Close-Up and Oral-B engage in relevant corporate social responsibility. Unilever is known to sponsor several youth programmes on university campuses during which it shares its products, specifically the different variants of Close-Up. Likewise, P&G regularly embarks on CSR missions, providing free dental checks to Nigerians.

Finally, both brands offer different tube sizes such as 140g, 140g x2, 140g x3, etc. All of these go for similar prices. In the same vein, the brands offer variants such as herbal, deep action, etc.

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Differences between Close-Up and Oral-B

Aside from the fact that Close-Up is over thirty years older than Oral-B, other factors help to differentiate between them. These factors include taste, colour, and packaging. For instance, while Close-Up products are predominantly red (as the herbals), Oral-B is mostly turquoise blue. Same goes for their packaging.

Another difference between them is the fact that Close-Up has a 30g X2, sachet-packed product in the market. This helps Close-Up to reach consumers of different financial capacities. Oral-B currently does not have such an offering in the market.

Market Survey

From our interaction with some toothpaste users in Lagos, it is obvious that not only is Close-Up still popular in the country, it is also widely used. Most of the respondents noted that they have literarily used Close-Up all their lives.

“Close-Up is the only toothpaste brand I’ve used all my life. I like the smell, the taste, the colour and the effect it has in my mouth. I also like the fact that the prices have remained consistently affordable. Also, they now offer variants of herbal and whatnot. I like it.” said Tunde, a teacher resident in Lagos.

Others like Nneka Emmanuel said that they use Close-Up most of the time, but also alternate it with Oral-B, especially when they cannot easily access Close-Up.

Also, some others said that they switched completely from Close-Up to Oral-B because they think that the latter has more to offer.

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“For many years, I used Close-Up. But after I came across Oral-B and tried it, I had to ditch Close-Up immediately. Today, my family and I use Oral-B. To be frank, Oral-B offers a greater advantage. That’s the only reason why it has done so well within the short time it’s been around” said Mrs Ajao, a banker.

Toothpaste brands in Nigeria

Battle of the substitutes: Close-Up versus Oral-B

Meanwhile, Mama Lateef, a neighbourhood convenient store owner in Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos said that although her customers buy both Close-Up and Oral-B, she typically runs out of the former first. Speaking further, she said that the reason for this is “…because Close-Up has been around for a long, long time and attracted a lot of fans. I myself use only Close-Up, especially the herbal type.”

As always, we conducted a Twitter poll as a way of gathering more data for our comparison. In the poll, we asked our followers to choose their best brand among Close-Up, Oral-B, Colgate and any other toothpaste brand(s). Out of the total number of respondents, 32% said that Close-Up is their favourite. This is closely followed by Oral-B, which 29% of respondents said is their favourite. Colgate came in third place with a 25% vote, while 14% of the votes went to the others.


This poll result is indicative of the close competition between Oral-B and Close-Up – one of the reasons we chose to compare the two. It also clearly shows that many Nigerians still like the pioneering toothpaste brand in Nigeria. Therefore, based on these findings, we declare Close-Up the winner of this week’s battle of the substitutes.

Close-Up versus Oral-B

Close-Up versus Oral-B


Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs.He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor.Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan.If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

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    Review of the V bank version 3.0: Nigeria’s first intelligent digital banking app

    V Bank has upgraded its application to offer new services to its users and improve operational efficiency.



    Review of the V bank version 3.0: Nigeria's first intelligent Digital banking App

    Nigeria’s fully digital bank, V Bank, a product of VFD microfinance bank Launched March 8, 2020, has upgraded its application to offer new services to its users and improve operational efficiency.

    The new VBank app will enable users to securely access their accounts to automate recurring bills, manage multiple cards from different banks, send and receive funds using a unique QR code, track spending, generate virtual cards for online payments, buy airtime and data, fix deposits and make free transfers, all within a sleek, responsive and easy-to-use interface.

    This review explains how to download and use the new V bank version 3.0 app. During the review, we took into consideration the design, user experience, usability, new features of the App, and how it functions well.

    The device used for the review: Apple iPhone Xsmax

    Getting started with V bank

    These are the following information required for successfully registering as a user on the V bank app:

    • Sign Up by downloading the V bank app and creating your account
    • Input your BVN-linked phone number on the app and date of birth
    • Take a photo with a white background to Validate your identity
    • Verify your identity by inputting your BVN number on the app or use your existing bank account.
    • Finally, a signature for validation and a four-digit pin password.

    What’s New on the V bank App?

    The new app, version 3.0 comes with some new cool features that are rather unique. Let’s talk about all the new features and our experience while setting up and performing different transactions.

    New V bank Interface

    After you log in or sign up, the first thing you see is the V bank dashboard and it is pretty cool. The UI and interactions are super neat. The use of colours and components under the analytics section is simple and clean. This is perfect!!



    New V bank interface

    Send and receive money using Proximity payments and QR payment features

    V bank users can now send or receive money easily through the proximity or QR payment features. You can pay or receive money from a nearby V bank app user using the proximity payment feature. Click on the proximity payment icon and start searching for a nearby user to pay while receiving payment wait for the user to start searching.

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    Recipients using the proximity payment feature must have their phones at close range.


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    Another interesting way you can make a transfer easily is by scanning the QR code of the user receiving the payment.

    To receive a payment, each user must generate a QR code which will be used to scan while making a transfer.

    The QR payment feature is actually unique as it enables users to make or receive payments from near and far locations. The only requirement is to have the QR code to scan for payment.

    QR Code

    Intelligent Mobile Top-up feature

    We always want to send airtime or data to people as a surprise and most times we have the mobile number but don’t know the network provider. The new V bank app comes with an intelligent mobile top-up feature that detects each network provider automatically with just the phone number. You don’t need to call the recipient asking for his network provider, the app does that for you.

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    Airtime top-up

    Cardless Withdrawal

    It is not always convenient and secure to carry a wallet or purse with ATM cards. You can make a careless withdrawal without your ATM cards using the V bank app by generating a code. The app also helps you in locating the nearest ATM locations for your careless withdrawal. This feature is convenient and more secure.

    Transfer funds to multiple recipients at once

    Imagine how tired Don Jazzy will feel after paying each follower that won his giveaway separately. It actually is exhausting but the V bank eliminates that stress with the new multiple beneficiary feature. You can send money with just one transaction to up to 5 people.

    Multiple transfer feature

    Track your spending

    The Analytics dashboard shows a beautiful interface with total inflow (payment made) and total outflow (Amount withdraw or debited). This gives you a clear pictorial overview of your income and expenses.


    Under categories, users can track their spending such as online/POS, utility, mobile, family. work, lifestyle, food, utility, transport, and more on a monthly basis. This feature enables you to Identify bad spending habits and make adjustments to improve your finances.

    Overview of income flow, expenses, and budget

    Manage Multiple cards from different accounts

    One of the App’s latest features is managing multiple cards from different accounts.

    We requested a new virtual card which cost 500 Naira ($1) for a new one and it expires in three years. You can also request and activate V bank physical card using the app. The new feature enables users to add ATM cards from different bank accounts on the app and all the debit cards can be managed using the V bank app under the cards section.

    Managing your cards section

    Automate Recurring Transactions

    The new feature allows users to automate recurring transactions weekly, monthly, or on a yearly basis depending on the type of service requested. You can easily schedule payment for your DSTV bill on a monthly basis.

    Other features you would be interested in

    • Make free transfers i.e there are no hidden transfer/ transaction fees.
    • You can open a target savings account, fixed deposit account, or a joint account using the V bank App.
    • Request a loan
    • Chat with a customer care representative using the app
    • Earn money when you invite your friends
    • Become a Veelager and earn profit

    Final thoughts

    The new version of V bank is well designed for both new and existing users of digital banking. The app enables users to easily navigate and perform seamless transactions. The design interface and user experience make it a great option for anyone looking for a perfect digital bank.

    With the rise of technology, everything is possible with just a few clicks on the mobile phone. In the next version, we expect to see a voice-activated virtual assistant feature on the app.

    The new V bank 3.0 app comes with innovative and sophisticated digital banking features which will help V bank users manage their money effectively, spend wisely and perform transactions easily with guaranteed security.

    VBank 3.0 is available as V by VFD on the Play Store and Apple store. For more information, visit

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    Buy what? Dangote vs BUA Cement

    Dangote Cement has a market capitalization of N3.65 trillion, while BUA posts a N2.49 trillion capitalization, but does size win?



    I want to review the performance of the largest quoted companies in Nigeria.

    On the Nigerian Stock Exchange, they don’t come any bigger than Dangote Cement (Dangote) and BUA Cement (BUA). Only MTNN stands with both cement companies in terms of market capitalization. Dangote and BUA are both blue-chip companies, in the same sector and both enjoy federal import protection, they also both serve a local market with huge demand for cement.

    Which is a better investment? Let us assume I have N100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira,) which should I buy? Let us review both stocks with FY 2020 results they posted. For consistency, I am going to use my trading view terminal numbers.

    READ: Dangote Cement joins MTN in the trillion-naira club, as 2020 revenue surpassed N1 trillion

    Market Capitalization

    First, we talk about capitalization, (Market cap is the number of shares issued x market value of shares ). Dangote Cement has a market capitalization of N3.65 trillion, while BUA posts a N2.49 trillion capitalization. Does size win? Dangote is bigger? Not yet!

    Market Price

    With N100,000 I can buy about 465 shares of Dangote at N215 a share and 1,360 shares of BUA at N73.50 per share. Is BUA cheaper? do we have a winner? Not quite. Let us dig deeper.

    Dangote Cement posted a Net Income figure of N276 billion, if we divide this earning by the number of issued shares which is 17 billion, we get an Earnings Per Share (EPS) of N16.14, so every share of Dangote Cement earns (not pays) the investors N16. Similarly, the Earning Per Share of BUA is N2.0

    READ: BUA Cement loses N162 billion in market value in a week

    Thus when I buy Dangote Cement N215 per share, I am buying 16 times the earnings of Dangote. We can simplify this by simply comparing the price I pay per share of Dangote to the EPS of Dangote (Price to Earnings Ratio), thus I invest my cash of N215 to buy 16 times the earnings of Dangote, thus the Price to Earnings Ratio of Dangote is 13.31 (P/E). Using the same calculation, the price for each earnings of BUA (the P.E.) is 35.38. This means even though I am paying more cash for each share of Dangote, I am paying less to buy the earnings of Dangote, thus Dangote is cheaper than BUA.

    So our first milestone is reached, we have used the Net Income, Market Price, and Number of Issued shared to get the Earnings Per Share, we have then determined what amount of earnings we are buying to determine which stock is at a bargain.

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    READ: Oba Otudeko’s stakes in Firstbank and Honeywell are worth over N10 billion

    What else?

    Let us look at the earnings that will be paid in cash. Remember, Earnings, is just the Net Income of Dangote, we as equity holders have the opportunity to share in any portion of the Net Income.

    Dangote in 2020 paid out from earnings N272.69 billion as dividends, this translates to about N16 per share or in terms of returns 7.44%. We get this Dividend Yield return by comparing the dividend paid to the market price per share (D/P). BUA also in 2020 paid out N59.26 billion as dividends from earnings, this translates to a dividend yield of 2.81%.

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    So, if I invested N100,000 in shares of Dangote Cement, I would earn a cash return of 7.44%, if I did the same with BUA I would earn a cash return of 2.81%.

    READ: Jumia: In search of the elusive break-even sales

    Let us go a bit deeper…

    When you buy a stock, you are buying into the earnings and cash flow. Dangote Cement in 2020 earned N276 billion and paid N272 billion as dividends meaning they retained about N3 billion for that FY while generating over N248b in Free Cash Flow. Similarly, BUA earned a net N71.52 billion, paid out N59 billion in dividends, retained N19 billion but posted a negative Free Cash Flow of (N95.49 billion). Should BUA cement have simply used that cash to finance working capital rather than paying it as dividends? Perhaps. Let us speak more of Cash flow.

    Cash retained is cash not paid to you the investor. You have to ask how well your company is utilizing that cash retained. Should it all be paid out as dividends? Or retained in the company to fund expansion and growth?

    READ: Three things Nigerians can learn from Warren Buffet’s latest letter

    Look at it this way, if Federal Government Bonds were offering a Yield of 15% and we see that Dangote is offering a yield of 7.44%, then as shareholders you should demand that Dangote pays more cash to you to allow you to invest in FGN bonds because you get a higher return (at lower risk). The point is any company retaining cash or paying cash at a lower yield than the market is hurting the investors, who are missing the opportunity of investing higher elsewhere.

    Let us score both company managers by how well they have managed the revenues and capital of the companies


     Return on Assets %Return on Equity %Return on Invested Capital %EBITA Margin %Net Margin %Debt to AssetsLong Term Debt to Assets
    Dangote Cement14.6231.2126.9244.0424.310.240.08
    BUA Cement11.1519.1215.3541.8732.030.360.23
    FY 2020

    Across the board, the management of Dangote Cement has done a better job when compared to BUA Cement in managing the assets of the company. Dangote Return on invested capital is higher with a much lower recourse to debt and of course a higher FCF number.

    Overall, on Earning, Returns and Efficiency, it appears Dangote Cement posts better fundamentals…



    There is a wealth of information that should help decide whether you should buy a stock or not and how long you can hold on to it. Our recommendation is based on the information we currently have and is wholly the opinion of the writer

    This article is an investment guide and as such you should conduct extra analysis before deciding whether to buy, sell or hold a stock. The decision to buy, sell or hold a stock is solely yours.

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