2009 Editors’ Choice Award Winner: Sampling
Le 2 de Guerlain Mascara Sampler
The performance of mascara is greatly influenced by a mascara bottle’s applicator and wiper. When designing a sample package for mascara, creating an applicator and a wiper that work as well as those on a full-size container can be cost-prohibitive. For its Le 2 de Guerlain mascara sampler, Guerlain partnered with Socoplan-Flexpaq to create a sample package that closely replicates the experience of using the full-size mascara package, which is a dual-ended container with different brushes on each end.
The Le 2 de Guerlain sample package is a form-fill-seal thermoform with lidding. At the center of the thermoform, a chamber contains the mascara. Each rigid end of the thermoform acts as a brush handle. When users tear off the ends and pull them off of the main package, sample-sized brushes slide out.
One of the brushes is a large plastic-bristle brush that is meant to be used first during application. The other brush is smaller, with an angled wand, and is designed to reach tinier lashes in the corners of the eye. Socoplan-Flexpaq worked with Guerlain’s brush suppliers to incorporate the applicators in the sampler. Both brushes’ materials are identical to the retail product’s brushes.
Between the product chamber and each brush handle is a narrow tunnel through which the brush slides. This tunnel acts as a wiper. The fact that the wipers are part of the component’s structure reduced the number of components needed, making the package more economical to manufacture, according to Ludovic Anceau, CEO, Socoplan-Flexpaq.
The thermoform’s material had to be modified to ensure that the tunnel would work as a wiper. “The main challenge for us was to develop the appropriate type of material that would ensure full compatibility with the formulation, as well as the proper wiping of both applicators,” explains Anceau. This material, which the entire sample package was made from, is the supplier’s proprietary technology.
“The engineering is fantastic because it involved precisely molding a small-dose, tear-apart package,” says CPC Packaging awards panelist Maggie Wedemeyer, vice president of package development, Inter Parfums. “The package is sized perfectly to mimic a real mascara package, and it allows the consumer to have an excellent sampling experience.”
For practical and hygienic reasons, mascara is probably the one cosmetic that is most difficult for consumers to experiment with before buying. “This sample package allows the consumer to have that immediate experience with mascara at the point of sale,” says Anceau.
Other awards panelists agree. “It’s a great sampling vehicle—and definitely needed in the industry,” says Gail Boyé, vice president, global product development, mark. John Alongi, senior manager, package engineering, mark, feels that it may help entice consumers to try a new brand. “Being that mascara is such a loyalty product, this sample package truly addresses a need in the market.”
Panelist Rochelle Bloom, president of The Fragrance Foundation, feels that it is easy and fun to use. “This is a wonderful and clever mascara sampler. The way that it is designed, you feel as if you are receiving something very important. It is also presented well with lots of information about the product and clear instructions. It’s very consumer-friendly.”
Wedemeyer shares Bloom’s enthusiasm. “It’s a fantastic way to sample mascara. This will definitely help generate future sales by making the consumer feel more confident in her purchase.”