- Crayola will give a color from its 24-count box the boot for the first time on March 31, which is National Crayon Day. Crayola has retired colors in the past, but never from the iconic 24-count box.
- The brand is tapping social media for the retirement ceremony with everything from a build-up asking fans to predict which color is about to be out as well as share their favorite colors using a #WhosLeaving hashtag, and encouraging fans to tune in on March 31 to watch the New York City Time Square reveal on Facebook Live.
- The campaign also includes an over-sized box of crayons in NYC, which passersby are being encouraged to take a photo with and share it on social media.
While it is harder than ever to build a successful viral campaign given the volume of competing voices on social media today, the Crayola campaign is a good example of how a well-known brand can effectively tap into consumer sentiment by evoking a sense of nostalgia on social media. Another brand with a recent viral campaign was Denny's, which used a variation on the "zoom in" Twitter meme and tied it back to current events.
Crayola built a very effective campaign around the retirement by drawing out the announcement, engaging on social media up to the reveal itself and gaining significant earned media in the process. Retiring a color possibly near and dear to people’s childhoods is creating news, while making a point that the move is a first for the 24-count box ramped up interest in the event.
The promotional site for the color retirement includes an email sign up for fans to be alerted so with one fairly simple move – retiring a crayon color – Crayola received days-long earned media coverage, created a social media buzz around the brand, engaged in email list building on the promotional site, and generated nostalgia across age demographics by invoking a childhood toy that most people can easily relate to.
Not a bad week for a 132-year-old brand.