CPB packs aim to clean up oral hygiene category

Coley Porter Bell has refreshed the identity and packaging of Macleans toothpaste to turn the brand into a bathroom status symbol and encourage consumers to regard it more like a cosmetic.

The revamp, giving the brush-off to a host of category clichés, introduces a metallic colour scheme, sleek logotype and a series of gyroscopic ‘light spirals’ that unify variants in the range. The premium ‘whitening’ product comes in a striking black tube.

According to CPB creative director Stephen Bell, the work ‘completely repositions Macleans as a brand that is as much about appearance and beauty as it is health and hygiene’.

The aim is to set the brand apart from the market conventions and turn Macleans into a brand people want to display in their bathrooms, he says.

CPB senior designer Stuart Humm says the new image is about ‘precision and perfection’ as opposed to the ‘dutiful daily maintenance’.

‘Macleans wanted to talk in a different voice,’ he adds. ‘Why can’t [a toothpaste] be something beautiful, precious and stylish? It’s about your appearance, looking good and feeling good.’

All the packs jettison the ‘swooshes, starbursts, teeth diagrams and tick boxes’ typical of toothpaste design. The back-of-pack tone of voice echoes the cosmetic theme and the graphics have a ‘pure and minimal’ feel that ‘avoids being clinical’.

Humm says the creative work’s ‘architectural style’ is inspired by ‘blueprint drawings’ and the ‘natural engineering’ found in shells.

Brand owner GlaxoSmithKline wanted to challenge the limits of how oral hygiene products are marketed, says Macleans marketing manager Dennis DeYonker.

The revamp’s ‘visual language’ should ‘prompt a re-evaluation of the brand and the category as a whole,’ he suggests.

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