Unilever is launching a new line of whitening toothpaste, designed by Seymour Powell, in a bid to counter consumer perception that dental whitening products can be abrasive.
White Now is marketed as ‘instant make-up for teeth’. Seymour Powell has created packaging and branding for the new toothpaste, which will roll out internationally across Unilever brands including Signal, Pepsodent and Mentadent this month.
Seymour Powell account director Bob Scott says the brief was to support the White Now name with a premium packaging design. ‘The product is about instant whitening and our job was to find the most effective way of articulating its immediacy,’ he says.
‘The paste is in the form of a clear gel with a strong blue centre, which creates a blue foam when the user brushes. We wanted the packaging to communicate the product’s premium nature and fresh, dynamic properties as simply as possible,’ he reveals.
The White Now logo is animated by sparkles on the first and last letters, intending to denote glamour and lightness.
In markets where the Signal brand is used, the brand’s usual red swoosh has been made silver. A ‘smile’ photograph will be used on the back of the packaging to suggest the gleaming results the product will achieve.
Seymour Powell was brought to the project in March 2006, without a formal pitch. Its ‘growing’ packaging and branding team has collaborated with Unilever on the White Now product until spring this year.
According to Scott, Seymour Powell, traditionally known for its structural and product design, has been growing its branding and packaging team. ‘It’s a natural development for what we are doing. There’s integrity between 2D and 3D,’ he says.
The product is being launched in markets where there is an existing mature toothpaste brand, such as Signal in France and Spain, and Mentadent in Italy.
Unilever regularly uses external consultancies for executive design projects. The list also includes LFH and Boxer.