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Aerosol awards celebrate innovation

A dose indicator that clearly shows visually how much product is left inside metered dose inhalers (MDIs), an aerosol personal alarm spray which also emits an ear-splitting siren sound, and a novel shaped men’s deodorant pack that has taken Japan by storm were winners of the first ever FEA (European Aerosol Federation) International Aerosol Awards at the Federation’s recent Aerosols 2007 congress and exhibition in Manchester.

The awards were presented at a prestigious gala dinner during the international event, hosted this year at Manchester Central (formerly GMEX) by the British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association (BAMA).

Winner of the Award for Innovation in Aerosol Package Design was France’s Valois, for a dose indicator, dubbed the “Landmark”, designed as an integral part of pressurised MDI spray actuators for conditions like asthma, which clearly indicates via a colour countdown and number mechanism how much product is left inside the actuator so users don’t run out. The judges said the device (already being used by GlaxoSmithKline in Europe for Seretide and in the US for Ventolin and Flovent) “fulfils a real customer need and adds convenience”.

A personal alarm aerosol with which individuals in danger can spray attackers with both an individual synthetic DNA tracer and a UV marking solution that clings to the perpetrator’s clothes and skin for subsequent identification by the police won British personal alarm manufacturer Walk Easy the Award for the Most Innovative Aerosol. The monobloc aluminium aerosol for the “DNAlarm”, which also sounds a 138db siren when activated, is made by Nussbaum & Guhl.

Completing the trio of awards, Unilever scooped the award for the Most Creative Marketing Strategy for its launch into Japan, and the accompanying marketing/promotional activity, of its Axe men’s deodorant in a re-shaped 45mm diameter version (produced by Alucon in Thailand) of the direct printed aluminium aerosol used in other territories.

According to the FEA, “from zero brand awareness (in Japan) Unilever took the product (sold there in a ‘smaller, more ergonomic can size developed for Japanese hands and a more cramped retail environment’) to a 63% market share, becoming number one in the male deodorant category after one week (this March)”. The judges added: “A clear, easy communication…. good idea well executed….understanding of the culture.”

The winning packs in the FEA 2007 International Aerosol Awards – (above) from Valois, Walk Easy and Unilever The winning packs in the FEA 2007 International Aerosol Awards …