Kids mentally disengage from brushing their teeth and then physically stop before having brushed for 2 minutes—the recommended time by dentists. They either become distracted or disinterested from the task and the nightly routine.
Our solution intervenes in the core toothbrushing engagement—the breaking apart of toothpaste with the brush inside the mouth. By using the insights we gained from users and applying them to the core engagement of toothbrushing, we could achieve engagement for 2 minutes by children.
We created a sensorial experience that leverages color and flavor. We added the element of chance by mismatching colors and the flavors we associate with them.
We visited the homes of four boys and one girl, all under 12 years old. We asked them and their parents to demonstrate their nightly routines and observed them as they got ready for bed. We also observed their parents' oral care routines and asked about their family's eating habits and how they talk about oral health with their children.
Our questions centered around how they buy oral care products for their kids, how their kids influence the buying decisions, and how their oral care routines respond to having or not having influence on these decisions.
A kid's favorite color changes all the time, and so they constantly ask their parents to buy them toothbrushes with their new favorite color. If the toothbrush isn't in their new favorite color, they will be reluctant to use it and disengage before having brushed for 2 minutes.
We presented the idea of a color and taste roulette toothpaste product to several subject matter experts. Robert Gambogi, a former researcher at Colgate, and whose current work with J&J involves validating breakthrough technologies to address consumer needs, endorsed our idea and its feasibility. He told us to mismatch the colors and tastes to make the toothpaste taste even less predictable, and so to make the process of nighttime brushing feel less like a chore and routine.
"Mismatch colors. And use Xylitol, which doesn't promote cavities, as a natural sweetener."
Senior Research Director and Fellow at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.