One of the reason that market research seldom produces breakthrough innovation is that you seldom find a good idea in the place you're looking for it. Recently I started paying attention to how long I brush my teeth myself, and two minutes is hard to do. I can't wait to get one of these...
Link: WSJ.com - Got a Song Stuck In Your Head? Try Brushing by Joseph Pereira (subscription required)
Toy maker Hasbro Inc. has been trying for more than six years to find a use for its clever invention of a pea-size device that transmits sound through enamel and bone. At first, the company tried marketing the technology in a lollipop that, when sucked, would play a catchy tune. But parents choked on the $10 price tag, and the product was discontinued. Unwilling to give up, Hasbro considered spoons, forks -- even pens -- that would play a musical ditty in the mouth. Those ideas never made it out of the lab. Now, Hasbro has a product it thinks it can take to the bank: a musical toothbrush. When pressed to the teeth, the toothbrush renders a recorded riff from a pop star that lasts two minutes -- precisely the amount of time dentists say children should spend brushing their teeth. Hasbro plans to highlight that advice in marketing for the new toothbrush, which also has a suggested retail price of $10. Called "Tooth Tunes," it's getting a thumbs-up from dentists.
Thanks to Tim Manners of Reveries for a heads-up on this story.