Advanced Toothpaste Delivery System

March 1, 2006
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Advanced Toothpaste Delivery System
by Rob Croft
Battery power seems to have found a place in virtually every grooming product in the medicine cabinet. From toothpicks to wet razors and more popular items like toothbrushes—the compact and affordable AAA battery has revolutionized our mundane grooming rituals.
And with premium toothpaste costing $5 and up, it’s odd that we’re still chasing paste out of a tube—particularly when consumers would clearly appreciate a more environmentally friendly and ergonomic delivery system.
Our advanced toothpaste concept was inspired by the helical drive of a generic stick deodorant package. Rather than winding a wheel or ball, this package squeezes out toothpaste with the push of a button: An electric floss motor drives a pair of planetary cogs that advance two separate pistons; the pistons advance two tubes, one containing baking soda gel and the other peroxide gel.
By separating the two gels, the consumer is assured that the product reaction occurs only when the two streams are mixed in the mouth. The precision of this “proportionally controlled delivery system” enhances the product’s “aura” of innovation, effectiveness and product strength.
Of course, like all battery powered grooming devices, the (very basic) technology is housed in a reusable launcher (which accepts refill cartridges of various flavors), reducing the waste associated with a single-use, disposable tube. The cartridge docks into the launcher with a simple push fit to engage the single drive pin.
The system is not limited to a specific number of chambers, nor must the chambers be the same diameter. Indeed, a different ratio of “magic goop” could be driven from a third barrel within the same oval cross-section if desired.
The design demonstrates the many unexplored ways of moving to the (preferred) vertical package orientation. Let’s face it, toothpaste tubes lying on their sides in boxes are old-fashioned and are differentiated solely on a graphic level. By cross-pollinating technologies, components and configurations from other popular personal care categories, we can offer brand marketers in the oral care category a much needed point of difference and, ultimately, something to smile about. BP
The author, Robert Croft, is Managing Partner of Swerve Inc., specialists in 3-D brand design. Contact him at 212.742.9560 or rob@swerveinc.com.

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