Friday, March 7, 2008

By-Passing Advertising

A deodorant and men's grooming product range, set to be launched in the US later this month - called NXT - is to be sold in an arresting triangular container that lights up from the bottom, illuminating air bubbles suspended in the clear gel. The plastic is tinted blue, and when the AAA batteries in its base are lit, the whole thing looks like a miniature lava lamp or a tiny fishless aquarium.

To call attention to themselves, the products, which are aimed at 18- to 24-year-old men, will glow on the shelves, inviting customers to pick them up. Every 15 seconds, a light-emitting diode (LED) in the bottom of the container flares on, stays lit for a few seconds, then fades out.

Each NXT light is powered by two or three AAA batteries, and a rolling switch turns off the contraption when it’s upside down or sideways. The light will flash for about a year, so the product is shipped upside-down from its plant in China in boxes that say “This Side Up” in five languages.

Jamie Leventhal, the man who conceptualised the product and marketed it, declined to say how much the lights cost, but said the additional manufacturing cost was less per unit than what many brands spend on advertising. The suggested retail price for the products is US $4.99 to $5.99.