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When the sand flows upwards

Absolutely no contradiction: Something unexpected packed up totally neutral

The matching box for the paradoxical hourglass

That sand or other colourful liquids flow upwards in an hourglass is not usual. That is surprising, makes people think about it and raises different associations. The producer of advertising medium M.A.P.S. takes advantage of these effects, which its paradoxical hourglass evokes. Clients from different sectors appreciate it as a high quality promotional gift to represent the unusual, extraordinary part of their product or service.

If the gift is to develop, it needs a free view at the hourglass. The timekeepers are packed in a cardboard box with a big window at the front side. The packaging offers at the same time a reliable protection for the promotional gift. At the rear of the white folding box, there is enough space for the printing of a logo, pictures or text of the client who wants to use the hourglass.

When the sand flows upwards...

Since 1982, the small company ‘Machart‘, based in Baden-Wurttemberg, distributes and produces advertising media. Since the mid-1980s, Machart has got the hourglasses in its programme, whose content seems to flow upwards. In the last three decades, the producer of promotional gifts has developped its hourglasses and at the same time some new forms.

With its unusual hourglass, the family-owned company in second generation stands out from the competition in two points of view. For one thing, the hourglass itself is a special promotional gift because it works, different to the classic ballpoint or USB-stick, with a motion. Jörg Wessel, manager of M.A.P.S. explains: »A product which moves is a bigger eye-catcher than a static object, and even more when the motion is against the gravity.»

On the other hand, M.A.P.S. itself produces its hourglasses under the brand name PARADOX® in Germany, partly even by hand. In this sector, where many productions have moved to China because of financial reasons, M.A.P.S. with «Made in Germany» seems to turn a law of nature upside down – because the concept works: Today, M.A.P.S. is the only producer for liquid articles in Europe. »Of course, it is a niche which we are revealed to», says Jörg Wessel. »On the other hand we are totally in trend: high-quality promotional gifts are in demand. Our clients became more selective. But the superficiality is not the only thing that matters. M.A.P.S. is creating trust because of its control over the inner workings of the hourglass. To make the sand flow, M.A.P.S. coordinates the densities of the components and plays with the laws of nature.

...the packaging should be neutral

The clients who use the paradoxical hourglasses from PARADOX® to draw the attention to their product or service appreciate their many-sidedness. »Our hourglass invites people to be creative. By slogans like for example ‘against the current’ or ‘it’s time for a change’ a product or service, it is easy to create a reference to the product and the message», describes Jörg Wessel the secret of the success of his showpiece.

The different uses and creativity of the clients should not be detained by the packaging.That is why the cardboard packaging of the hourglass is not obstrusive. The cardboard boxes are made of coated white cardboards, which gives them a high-quality look. They are identical for all products and vary only concerning the size and form of the hourglass. There is a big window with rounded edges on the front side. That is important to see the product and the logo at first sight. On the upper flap, there is a stamping of the PARADOX®-logo in silver. The other flaps and the rear of the cardboard box are completely white. The client can print his logo, a message or a text on these sides before he gives away the gifts to his clients. The packaging and the idea behind it has proved its value, says Jörg Wessel : »The packaging is of high-quality and stable but not too obstrusive. That is important for the Co-Branding : Our clients can present their logo effectively in combination with the discreet brand PARADOX®.

A successful business relation since a decade

Since almost 10 years, M.A.P.S. delivers its hourglasses in the white cardboard packaging. The company Ebro Color has always produced these white packagings, after they designed them together with M.A.P.S. Before, the producer of advertising media delivered the hourglasses in packagings made of PVC. The packaging, which was completely transparent, was the optimum concerning the visibility – but it did not match the demands of the clients and M.A.P.S. concerning the product. »We are producing our hourglasses in Germany because we concentrate on quality and sustainability The packaging should reflect that», explains Jörg Wessel his demands. Ebro Color fulfills this requirement exactly : The producer of folding boxes produces also in Germany, with a corresponding quality standard. The used cardboard has a FSC certification and even the electricity is gained out of water power.

Ebro Color client Jörg Wessel sees another advantage in the short transport routes and delivery time. He buyed the PVC-packaging from China and had to order huge quantities to have some packagings in stock for unpredictable orders. That was a financial effort – and a risc, when there were less orders. Now, it is almost possible to order just-in-time because Ebro Color produces and delivers very small and also huge orders reliable and fast. Jörg Wessel says: »Flexibility is very important in this sector of advertising medium. It is necessary to react fast and reliable. We know that we can rely on Ebro Color. That is why we work together with our packaging producer since almost a decade.

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