ABOUT a year ago, when Jamie Leventhal was trying to convince big chain stores to stock his new line of shaving gels for young men, a buyer for Target asked a crucial question: How much would he spend on advertising? “I told him we would not spend a single dollar,” Mr. Leventhal said.
The buyer was stunned until Mr. Leventhal pulled a prototype out of his briefcase. The product, called NXT, is sold in an arresting triangular container that lights up from the bottom, illuminating air bubbles suspended in the clear gel. The plastic is tinted blue, and when the AAA batteries in its base are lighted, the whole thing looks like a miniature lava lamp or a tiny fishless aquarium.