It’s not often that this momentous event occurs in our lifetime. No, I’m not talking about eclipses, royal weddings or black Presidents. I’m talking about a new shade of blue.
A few years ago US scientists (accidentally) created a new shade of blue – currently called YInMn – by blending chemicals. And, Crayola has jumped on this discovery by putting it in its iconic box of 24-crayons.
Having retired ‘Dandelion Yellow’ from the pack, the brand ran a series of consumer polls to find out which colour people preferred and blue came out on top every time. So, what better way to capitalise on this than to feature the first new blue the world’s seen in over 200 years? (I know, that really is a thing!)
Jokes aside, kudos to Crayola for taking this PR stunt by the horns. After successfully involving its customer base in this ‘storytelling’ sequence, it’s now handing over the naming rights of the crayon – encouraging people to submit entries.
Supported with a social media campaign which uses the hashtag ‘#NameTheBlue‘, the most colourful company on earth is pushing its online contest across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – reaching millions in the process.
But, followers is not what Crayola needs; it’s digital engagement. So giving responsibility to its fans is an efficient way to drive likes, shares and comments to encourage advocacy, setting the product up for a sales boost.
With a background in PR, I can appreciate it’s not easy for brands like Crayola to consistently generate shareable content that’ll hop the fence into the world of media coverage. Pantone does it well and Dulux has dabbled, but they’re the only campaigns I can pull out of the bag.
But, articles alone won’t get people talking. Sponsoring posts will ensure the conversation is driven by the right people.
All in all, the colourful company has done a great job of seizing the opportunity – with three hooks for the price of one: retiring Dandelion ‘yellow’ (Crayola’s selling boxes of this one colour to commemorate it); introducing ‘blue'; and #NameTheBlue. Now, that’s how you make your mark.