Kids, apparently, need all the encouragement possible to ensure that they wash their hands, brush their teeth, and pretty much keep themselves clean and tidy. For oral care, we have seen toothpaste that starts out one color and changes to another when you've brushed enough, and toothbrushes that have a strip that changes color to tell you when it's time to replace the brush. Both toothpastes and toothbrushes sing songs that last the time that kids should be brushing. We have seen similar with some hand soaps as well that try to make wash-time fun and exciting.
The Soaprise!® package, from the small U.S. company Soap Labs, does not take the musical approach but rather a visual one. During normal package operation, when the user pushes down on the dispenser, the base of the bottle begins to flash multicolored lights. The lights flash purple, blue, and green for 15 seconds—as long as you should be soaping up your hands, in order to kill germs adequately. The soap dispenses as a foam as well, making it more fun and easier for kids. The trademarked tagline on the package says: "Wash until the light show ends™." The LED lights are in the bottom of the bottle, and illuminate the entire bottle of soap when the dispenser is pressed.
Unlike some of the other electronic gadgets on the market to help kids do what they need to do, Soaprise! has a refill option. Each refill pack contains enough liquid soap to refill the original container four times. As you would expect, the scents are those that only kids would love—Grape, Banana, Cotton Candy, and Strawberry.
As has been observed in this column, two-in-one products on the market are most common in the personal care category. The higher price points and the more targeted benefits of products in the personal care realm often allow for more complex packaging that in turn provides significant additional benefits.
The Stridex brand, owned by Blistex, is known for its acne control and treatment products. This Dual Solutions package offers a "2-Stage System" in a three-component package. The bottom of the container holds cleansing pads, which are saturated with a cleansing solution. This is the type of product for which Stridex is well known, and also the type of functionality that is quite common for acne care and other types of skin cleansing.
What's different about this package is the extra blue twist-off cap on the top. Twist off that cap, and underneath you find a small pot of gel, designed to be used as a spot treatment for stubborn acne or other blemishes. The package itself stands out for several reasons. The shape and colors used position the product more toward all consumers—regardless of age or gender—who may need the product. This is a package that would be as appealing to young men as it would to young women. In addition, the shape of the blue twist-off cap that reveals the gel has an unusual that is also very easy to turn.
This package is one that could be used for other types of products, especially products geared to older consumers and their less-nimble fingers. I could envision other personal care products, such as a foundation/concealer combination, in similar but smaller versions of this package. Another possibility could be a snack package for all ages, with nuts in the lower portion and "add-to-taste" seasoning in the upper portion. The surprise of the added functionality could produce a brand loyalty inspiring "Wow!" for each and every use.
Lynn Dornblaser is the director of the Custom Solutions Group at Mintel International. She can be reached at 312-932-0400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.