|Lauren Childs, Terence Raines, Ania Gilgenast, D. Ozzy, Sarah Thornhill, Courtney Witt
Smile Sidekicks Design Rationale
How can the mouthwash experience be fun? We chose to answer this problem because typical mouthwash form and functionality present the most problems to solve. Our primary audience is children ages 6-12 who are being introduced to healthy oral hygiene habits. We set out to make the mouthwash experience fun, easy, and educational.
The main issue with current packaging is the cap because it is difficult for children to measure the recommended amount. Daily use without cleaning the cap also makes it unsanitary. Additionally, the bottle’s form makes handling awkward, causing spills and messes.
First, we focused on form. The form of each Smile Sidekick is a rectangular structure that houses a ticket-like dispensing system for individual packets. The housing unit is made of 100% biodegradable bamboo paper. Bamboo is an eco-friendly, renewable resource that is fast-growing and requires less water to grow than most trees. The arms of the animals serve as toothbrush holders.
We chose to package servings individually. This eliminates awkward handling, a need for measurement, messy cleanup and unsanitary conditions. Individual packets ensure that kids use the proper amount of mouthwash each time. The packets are portable and easy to open and they are made from 100% biodegradable sugar cane paper which is waterproof. This paper is made from the waste of harvested sugar cane fiber and eliminates Bisphenol A; a hazardous chemical present in most packaging. We encourage children to recycle or send in their used packets. For every packet received, we will donate ten cents to the World Wildlife Federation.
Next, we created an organic and kid-friendly sub-brand of Tom’s of Maine called Smile Sidekicks. The Sidekicks (Pearl the Walrus, Snag the Shark, and Chomp the Croc) are friendly animal characters who we assigned flavors to match their unique personalities. The fun colors and the animal’s personalities will attract a child’s attention. Also, because our package is a rectangular shape it stands out among a sea of generic bottles.
Each Smile Sidekick holds a 30-day supply of mouthwash. Kids are encouraged to keep each Sidekick after they have used the mouthwash and collect the other characters. The goal is to establish brand loyalty and continual usage while reducing waste. The rectangular form and multiple characters makes the product easily stackable which increases shelf space for maximum product placement. We also provide the opportunity for line extension of the Smile Sidekicks brand to include other types of animals such as farm animals or rain forest animals.
On the front of each mouthwash packet is a fun fact about their Smile Sidekick animal. This acts as an incentive for the child to use mouthwash daily, establishing healthy oral hygiene habits. These fun facts educate the children and promote reading, while the package encourages them to be environmentally conscious. The animal facts, character design and back stories create a unique relationship between the child and their Smile Sidekick. This is how we make mouthwash fun!