Home Product and Service Review And the Curtain Rises on #WhatTheBlack

And the Curtain Rises on #WhatTheBlack

by Vidya Sury August 5, 2014 10 comments
Vidya Sury WhatTheBlack 4 mug

Black is one of my favorite colors. When I saw an email from BlogAdda inviting bloggers to participate in the WhatTheBlack contest and Expect the Unexpected experience, I thought, hey, what fun.

I wrote my post for the WhatTheBlack contest and then, also applied for the “Expect the Unexpected experience” which involved receiving a mystery package every day for four days and sharing it on social media every day and finally, blogging about it.

Now, I am old-fashioned when it comes to letters and parcels and the thought of looking forward to a package every day had me thrilled.

WhatTheBlack Experience

And so, Day 1 arrived on July 30 and one could touch the frenzy on Twitter as everyone speculated WhatTheBlack was going on and what day 1’s parcel would bring.

Imagine our curiosity when this arrived

Vidya Sury WhatTheBlack

Such a small box? What could it be? I couldn’t wait to open it, but controlled myself long enough to take a picture of it before I did.
Here’s what I found inside.


Vidya Sury WhatTheBlack

An egg? Oh no. I am a vegetarian! But wait, they would have thought of that, right? Of course they had! I found a cute little egg-shaped note with the egg.

I decided to wait until Vidur got home from school to eggs-plore the black “egg” further.

As it happened, I had to rush out for a book launch when he arrived and after quick instructions about lunch, I left. After I returned, in my eagerness to show Vidur the egg, dropped it. It cracked. I scooped it up quickly – the 5 second rule you know! – and placed it in a cup. After confirming that it wouldn’t crack open and bite us, I cracked it a bit more and took the shell off…..only to find another perfectly shaped black egg inside!

WhatTheBlack Vidya Sury (1)




We smelled it. Ah, chocolate. My son curiously licked the shell and got a nice patch of deep blue on his tongue. In the meantime I had washed my hands and in my hurry to grab the shell from him managed to stain my hands as well! That’s some real fast color eh?

Anyway. After finishing dinner at lightning speed, Vidur was torn between waiting to show his Dad the egg before he could eat it. At 9.30, just as his patience was wearing out, Sury walked in and with his blessings, Vidur settled down to enjoy the egg happily.

“What will you get tomorrow, Mummy?” he asked.

I urged him to guess.

“Another egg?” he said, hopefully.

I just smiled and said, “We’ll see”

Day 2 July 31 dawned bright and clear.

Every doorbell rang hope but turned out to be something else. I got on with my day in anticipation and checking Twitter – I don’t think I’ve spent this much time on social media till now!

When dinner time arrived, I wondered whether I’d receive today’s package at all. Just when I was about to give up, the doorbell rang and there it was. What is it about doorbells and the moment you sit for dinner?

Vidya Sury WhatTheBlack

Eh? WhatTheBlack?

Newspaper delivery at night? A black newspaper?

Let’s read the headlines

Vidya Sury WhatTheBlack

Vidya Sury WhatTheBlack

What’s inside?

Vidya Sury WhatTheBlack

Hmmm. Well played, I thought.


My son wanted to know what was the connection between the egg and the newspaper.

Then, without waiting for an answer, he said, hey, both are morning things! I am sure your mystery product is a morning thing!

We checked off some possibilities from our list of guesses.

Coffee mug?

After a few more guesses I won’t list here, we decided to wait and see what the next day would bring!

Day 3 – Aug 1

Another round of Twitter conversations, retweeting, joking and guessing….and waiting. The day passed, night went by and it was Aug 2!

The courier man brought me a large cover with a small box in it. A little blase by now, I opened the cover to reveal…

Vidya Sury WhatTheBlack

What is in it?

Vidya Sury WhatTheBlack

Black Paper cup, black tissue and a card.

Vidya Sury WhatTheBlack

Hmmm. This is definitely heading somewhere.

whattheblack vidya sury

I was now freaking out over Day 4 – because the Twitter grapevine had it that Day 4 was product reveal day! Yay!

August 3 came and went.
August 4 came and went.

What now? I reasoned thinking that it can’t be easy to ensure that a huge group of people all received their package on the same day…

In the meantime, Twitter was abuzz with spoiler alerts. The mystery product turned out to be a brand new toothbrush from Colgate.

But I wanted to see it for myself. And I did. Today, August 5 – my package arrived, delivered by a neighbor, because the courier gave it in the wrong house. Good neighbors, though, eh?

I ripped open the package to find…

whattheblack vidya sury

And inside….

whattheblack vidya sury


What a beauty.

Vidya Sury WhatTheBlack 4

The Colgate Slimsoft Charcoal Toothbrush

With Charcoal tipped bristles. Not a new concept. Charcoal has been traditionally used to brush teeth for ages, and is still used in some parts.

And we use Colgate products in our house, so I was happy!

Ah, very very well played, Colgate!

A black egg.
A black newspaper
A black cup and tissues
A black toothbrush.

Nice way to segue into a product launch.

I love it! I am looking forward to using this toothbrush.

Vidya Sury WhatTheBlack 4 mug

Here is why it is unique:

whattheblack vidya sury

My thoughts about the WhatTheBlack experience

A brilliant campaign by Colgate, executed smoothly by BlogAdda involving hundreds of bloggers.

Tough logistics to ensure that the huge number of participants received their package every day. They did it.

The lead in to the actual mystery product was so much fun on Twitter with all the guessing games and the high anticipation.

The excitement on the first day was crazy-fun, but day 2, 3 and 4 were equally exhilarating because hey, nothing beats the tension of waiting for a parcel and I loved it.

Even though some of us received their parcels before the others did, we thoroughly enjoyed the buzz that stayed throughout the day.

I know that Blogger Outreach programs are trending and brands are wisely connecting with bloggers to get the word out about their products and services and go viral. What I loved most about the WhatTheBlack campaign was its simplicity, leveraging the enthusiasm of a large number of social media influencers to get the conversation going about what the mystery product could be.

Great build up! And an effective way to boost their numbers by ensuring their presence on the platforms their audience is using.

I really enjoyed being part of the WhatTheBlack experience.

vidya sury whattheblack

I must confess though, that my son wished that everyday would be chocolate day! Ha!

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nabanita August 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Must have been fun na Vidya? I think Colgate hit the nail atleast with the bloggers on this campaign…
nabanita recently posted…Just a short list…

Vidya Sury August 6, 2014 at 11:12 pm

Yeah! Thanks Naba!
Vidya Sury recently posted…A Fresh Look At Life

Birgit August 7, 2014 at 2:11 am

How much fun is that! I love these types of things. I always have to buy the mystery bag ot find out what the end is. I love receiving packages. We used to receive them when i was young and it was so much fun and so exciting. I am glad you and your son had a great time!
Birgit recently posted…Santa, a Cowboy and a Blond = stupid…for the IWSG

Inderpreet Kaur August 7, 2014 at 7:56 am

I enjoyed revealing the surprise with you. You posts were funny and interesting. This one is no exception.
Congratulations for all the black things.
Hope you get the I pad is next
Inderpreet Kaur recently posted…Old Love, Old Charm THE THORN BIRDS

Corinne Rodrigues August 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Oh love the hype created! I’m smiling at how we move away from things – charcoal powder used to be a regular to brush teeth, and then come back to it! Full circle, no? 🙂
PS: Remember the tooth powder in those red boxes? I used to pinch some and eat it off and on!
Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Inspirational Growth Quotes

Vidya Sury August 7, 2014 at 1:43 pm

🙂 yep! I remember those red boxes! I loved eating it too, Corinne!. By the way, in the south, we get something called “Gopal pal podi” (tooth powder) – kind of pinkish in color. Tastes great, too! There is another with black tooth powder…don’t remember the brand.

This activity was full-on fun!
Vidya Sury recently posted…From My Gratitude Journal

Shalini August 7, 2014 at 7:45 pm

A very detailed and lovely post! 🙂 Mine is on the way 🙂

Kindly support me @the all new Food Blog- Something’s Cooking
Shalini recently posted…In an All New Avtar

birgit August 8, 2014 at 8:24 pm

I know I left a message here but I don’t see it?? Oh well. I always have to buy the mystery bag…always! This is a great way to promote the new toothbrush. I did not know about coal being used to brush one’s teeth

Proactive Indian August 16, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Looks like blogging is going to be an important part of advertising in the future!

This whole experience must have been fun. A black toothbrush!! What next? Black toothpaste?
Proactive Indian recently posted…Inter-religion marriage still taboo among Indians?

Vidya Sury August 16, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Pro, black toothpaste is nothing novel. Remember those black tooth powders? 😀 Still, the campaign was great fun!
Vidya Sury recently posted…What Is Your Coffee Personality?


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