Of holograms and humans

Two toothpaste cartons are in the news this month, one for its hologram and the other for its humans. The hologram is on SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare's new Aquafresh Whitening® tooth- paste.

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The Pittsburgh-based toothpaste marketer calls its carton "one of the first products, and the first toothpaste, to make a hologram a permanent part of its packaging solely for visual impact." The carton is the product of three firms. First is Holo-Grafx, a division of Crown Roll Leaf (Paterson, NJ), which applies a proprietary transfer coating to a 48-ga polyester and then embosses a holographic pattern onto the coating, not the film. Holo-Grafx' final step is metallization. Unifoil (Passaic, NJ) then adhesively laminates 14-pt SBS to the metallized Crown film, only to delaminate the film moments later. The polyester that comes off the board is now clear, however, and the holographic image carried in Crown's transfer coating is adhesively bonded to the board. Called "full web transfer metallization," the technology is an alternative to the more traditional methods of adding a hologram to a package: hot-stamping or laminating a film that carries the hologram. According to Unifoil, it's faster and less costly than hot stamping and "greener" than laminating because the end product, in this case a folding carton, remains essentially a recycleable paperboard rather than a mix of paper and film. The Aquafresh Whitening carton is among the first holographic packages to utilize the technology. The final step in the converting process is Union Camp's (Wayne, NJ). It takes sheets supplied by Unifoil and gravure prints them in five colors. The ink is laid down right over the holographic image. Die-cutting is all that remains. Chesebrough-Ponds, meanwhile, went human with its "faces on the box" carton for Close-Up® toothpaste. The faces belong to real-life folks, not the models used traditionally by Greenwich, CT-based Chesebrough. The limited-edition product will ship to retailers on June 1. The three faces belong to the winners of the Close-Up Connection Contest-a nationwide search for three outstanding volunteers active in their communities. Chesebrough further supports its campaign to increase volunteerism by printing a "call to action" on the carton encouraging young consumers to get involved in their communities.

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