Custom Sampling Program Drives Product Trial and Creates New Users Among Families With School-age Kids

The Challenge

Tom’s of Maine was confident that once kids tried its toothpaste, they would want to use it regularly. Tom’s wanted to get hundreds of thousands of samples into the hands of parents with kids ages 3 to 14 and educate them about its “all-natural” qualities.

The Solution

School Family Media tapped into its unique connections with school parent groups, offering 400,000 samples for distribution at family-attended spring school events. Groups were encouraged, through a targeted email and social media campaign, to hand out the products at environmental or health-oriented events to align with the Tom’s of Maine mission.

The Results

More than 1,650 school leaders registered to receive sample-size toothpaste tubes in age-appropriate favors: Silly Strawberry for kids 3 to 7, and Wicked Cool (mint) for kids 8 and up. Samples were given right to parents at health fairs, Earth Days and “green” events, fun runs, and more. The leaders enthusiastically touted the benefits of all-natural products for kids’ health and the environment. PTO and PTA leaders shared their event and sampling success with others through social media channels, and in a follow-up consumer survey, moms and dads with kids ages 3 to 12 provided valuable feedback:
• Conversion rate: Among families who had never previously purchased a Tom’s of Maine product, 70% reported that they had already purchased or intended to purchase Silly Strawberry and/or Wicked Cool after trying the samples.
• Word-of-mouth marketing: More than 80% of leaders talked directly with other parents about Tom’s of Maine, resulting in more than 850,000 in-person product interactions and conversations.


school leaders


product samples


reported that they had already purchased or intended to purchase

“I spoke with more than 200 people at our event. A few told me they had never tried Tom’s before, and I told them my 3-year-old won’t use any toothpaste but Tom’s Strawberry. This was such an amazing program and the parents were thrilled with the samples.”

Stephanie Cavender, PTC president
Marshall Academy Holly Springs, Miss.

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