Long-standing client Colgate approached us with the aim of updating its Motion Kids toothbrush by finding a cost-effective and easy route to feature popular kids TV characters via a 360 image. Although the brief was specific, our suggestion was actually to take a wider look using a creative brainstorming process to think “outside the box”, or in this case, “beyond the brush”. This collaborative process proved fundamental in the shape the project eventually took. Colgate originally intended the Motion Kids toothbrush to have the latest trendy cartoon character molded in 3D onto its handle. But issues with cost-effective manufacturing and technical difficulties in molding and color application were compounded by the changing nature of kids’ taste. One year it’s Batman and Hanna Montana, and the next, Superman and Dora. With these shared insights and challenges in mind, the solution needed to be one that would combine clever design with efficient engineering and manufacturing – a marriage of skills at which we’re pretty good. The solution was to simplify the toothbrush body into a billboard that was ‘skinned’ by a thermo-decal of the latest and coolest character. This in turn meant that the development and tooling were streamlined as the form had to offer easy decal application. The investment was low as the same mold design could be recycled year after year. Crucially, the design would always be relevant since the decal artwork could easily be changed – critical to ongoing sales. In a market where previous 3D sculpted character toothbrushes offered only a limited shelf life, the Motion Kids design is on year 8 and still going strong. It shows that through close client collaboration some of the best connections can be made.