Everybody loves Sharpie. It’s hard to believe the original Sharpie marker, a fine point all-surface black pigment ink permanent marking pen, first hit the market in 1964. Flash forward to 2010 and Sharpies are now available in seven varieties, 40 colors, with tips that range from Magnum to Ultra Fine.
It's so ubiquitous it's easy to take it for granted. That's why a new image campaign is aiming to position the brand as “a creative force in making ordinary things extraordinary.”
Across print, digital and broadcast, the campaign Sharpies add color to a broad swath of pop culture icons – jeans, skateboards, electric guitars, motorcycle helmets - as an answer to the question, "What would the world be like without self-expression? There'd be no purpose, no passion, no putting it out there for everyone to see."
The tagline reinforces the self-expression messaging: "Sharpie. Uncap what's inside."
A "Sharpie Squad," an appointed group of dedicated brand ambassadors, will encourage people through a social media PR and word-of-mouth campaign to show their own creativity by submitting videos and images to a dedicated site, SharpieUncapped.com. The home page's virtual drawing section, Web Ink, lets users can make their own Sharpie art.
The TV spot, meanwhile, has already been featured on the finale of America's Next Top Model and will also run on finales of Dancing with the Stars and Lost, plus Gossip Girl and cable networks E!, VH1, ABC Family, TLC, HGTV, Lifetime, BET, and MTV.
“Sharpie fans have re-invented the brand as a tool of creative self-expression; the campaign gives us a glimpse into a world void of that creative connection,” said Sally Grimes, global VP of marketing for the brand.
A simple marker, a multiplatform campaign, and the world is more colorful – indelibly, one Sharpie at a time.