Launched today, the PR campaign is led by Sharpie's AOR, Weber Shandwick in Chicago. The PR activity runs in tandem with Sharpie's national advertising campaign, developed by Draftfcb Chicago, which poses the question “What would the world be like without self-expression?”
Much of the campaign is centered on the Sharpie Squad, a group of 20 artists, bloggers, and customers based mainly in the US, who share tips and encourage innovative and creative use of Sharpie products through social media. Through the campaign, people are invited to interact and share their creations with the Squad via Sharpie's community hub, www.sharpieuncapped.com. The Squad, which has been developed over the past two years, also has access to Sharpie products should they wish to run contests or promotions via their blogs/websites or planned local events.
“Our overall goal for this PR campaign is to inspire creativity,” explained Susan Wassel, PR and social media manager for Sharpie."Through the Sharpie Squad we have created a community which we are enabling to continue doing what they already do so incredibly well, which is share their passion and display Sharpie creativity.”
Other planned social media activity includes, the Sharpie blog, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. (twitter.com/sharpiesusan). In addition to the online activity, the campaign is also targeting women and lifestyle magazine editors.
The bulk of the campaign will run up to back-to-school time in September with additional activity taking place around Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, and the holiday season. Measurement metrics include ROI tactics across all campaign elements, page impressions, and monitoring social media buzz.
The Sharpie Squad was initially created in 2008 after web research revealed that consumers were using Sharpie products to creatively customize a multitude of items including, clothes and sports equipment. The company initially identified 12 squad members, which included mommy bloggers and artists to act as influencers for the brand. The group was expanded to 20 in April this year.