More than Skin Deep: OXY® Clinical

A Case Study by Salmon Creek Media & Marketing

Who they are:

For more than three decades, OXY®, a Mentholatum brand, has been a leader in acne care. Through the years, they’ve worked hard to provide acne solutions that are as affordable as they are effective. It’s made them the go-to brand for teens who want clear, healthy skin.

OXY® Clinical is a new over-the-counter acne medication product line with innovative technology that delivers prescription-level results without a dermatologist prescription, and it works for everyone—teens, adults, women, men. Its Clearing Treatment contains patented OXYSphere™ – a microencapsulated benzoyl peroxide that penetrates deep into the pore and releases slowly over time to continue to eliminate acne bacteria between applications. It is proven to eliminate 99 percent of acne bacteria in just 8 hours.

The Challenge:   

The introduction of OXY Clinical required a distinguished presence.

“This new OXY product line needed both a new name and new packaging to reflect both its clinical strength and the wider demographic for which it was developed, said Steve Palozzi, Vice President and Creative Director at McElveney & Palozzi, the firm responsible for the OXY Clinical packaging design. “While leveraging the equity elements in the OXY brand, we needed to support this new ‘Clinical’ product line and convey its premium status and superior efficacy.”

Mothers, the prime purchasers of the product, needed new “news” on the brand, and teen girls needed to be included in the design strategy to grow sales volumes and market share.

Developing a Solution:

Working together with the OXY team, The McElveney & Palozzi Design Group addressed the challenges, delivering a new brand name that leveraged the brand equity of the other OXY products and a packaging design that was clean and contemporary and stood out authoritatively on the shelf.

“The printing was a challenge,” said Lisa Gates, the McElveney & Palozzi design lead,  “because there were three printers on two continents, three print processes, and—the biggest challenge—several different substrates used for the 13 individual SKUs of the new ‘cosmeceutical’ line. Each process required its own set of files to address the specific requirements of the different substrates. By working collaboratively with the printers, we were able to deliver print files to each location that were ready to go for each and easily repeatable.”

World Wide Plastics in China (screen print + foil stamp) printed the OXY Clinical Face Wash Clearing Treatment and Hydrating Therapy tubes. The tubes were the first of the packaging to be printed—four spot colors plus varnish—and set the color-matching standard for the rest of the product line. The pearlescent substrate with a gradating screen of white and graphic printing in screens of black created a matte look in contrast to the silver foil stamp and red gloss areas.

Diamond Packaging of Rochester, New York, led the color-matching in the United States and produced the litho-printed cartons using a silver board substrate that featured four to five spot colors plus matte and gloss varnishes and embossing. A gradating screen of white was printed over the substrate to give it a pearlescent look with a matte varnish, and a gray screen shows through some metallic. The red OXY color printed over the foil substrate and gloss varnish contrast with the matte pearlescent finish and other graphics. The silver arch, OXY logo, and the acne solutions pack type and tube/pump images are embossed, and the silver foil shows through around the OXY logo to make it pop. Tube/pump images are gray-scale renderings with spot color, not four-color process, and vector graphics added.

A curved right-side panel designed with shelf space in mind was created for the Clearing Treatment and Hydrating Therapy carton. (The Wal-Mart version does not have this feature due to merchandising restrictions.) It creates visual interest and draws the customer in, but does not cover the copy on neighboring cartons.

Gintzler Graphics in Buffalo, New York, produced the flexo-printed labels for the OXY Clinical Advanced Face Wash pumps. The OXY red prints over the silver foil substrate without varnish. The white gradated background was printed 80 percent top to 30 percent bottom to reveal the foil sheen, and a matte varnish over white created the pearlescent effect. The graphic with the dots and wavy lines was printed in screens of black to appear slightly metallic in sheen. The goal was to match the pearlescent substrate of the tubes printed by World Wide Plastics in China. The shiny silver foil of the arch, logo outline, and ”L” line as well as the shiny red of the arch and logo are meant to contrast with the duller pearlescent whites.

“It was an 18-month process from conceptualization to product placement on shelves,” Steve Palozzi said, summing it all up, “and the entire process was a true collaborative experience. The CPC was knowledgeable and able to make informed and good decisions and provided direction to all of us. They were encouraging, inspiring, and not afraid to take a risk.

The Final Results

The new OXY Clinical packaging, a winner of an American Packaging Design Award, highlights the technology advantage it offers and conveys that it is a premium, prescription-strength, fast-acting product appealing to both males and females. It provides a distinct point-of-difference in the competitive setting of other acne treatments products and creates real blocking power on the shelf.

About the Design Firm

For over 29 years, McElveney & Palozzi Design has been recognized by the packaging industry for their strategic competence and design excellence. They are an impassioned group of business strategists, creative problem solvers, visual explorers, and production specialists all focused on their clients’ goals. With expertise in consumer product brand building McElveney & Palozzi Design achieves results in identity development, package design, advertising design, print collateral and web/social media.

Contact Information:

Doug Reed – Director of New Business Development

McElveney & Palozzi Design Group
1255 University Avenue Suite 200
Rochester, New York 14607


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