Sharpie and Paper Mate try to scribble out the creative decline

Sharpie and Paper Mate try to scribble out the creative decline

Sharpie and Paper Mate are teaming up to take on a cause close to our hearts: the decline of creativity.

Sharpie and Paper Mate, two brands under parent company Newell Brands, have united under the banner of the "Let's Get Creative" in a campaign to inspire a more imaginative world.

In response to recent survey data revealing that over three-quarters of Americans feel uncertain about exploring their creativity, the brands launched the initiative at South by Southwest® (SXSW®), with a purpose-built interactive Sharpie Studio.

To gauge the state of creativity in America, the brands surveyed 2,000 individuals:

- 78% identified themselves as creative.

- However, 71% struggled to find time for creative pursuits, with nearly three-quarters wishing they engaged in such activities more frequently.

- 71% believed creativity enhances attractiveness.

- 37% turned to writing, drawing, doodling, and painting as stress relievers.

- Particularly, 94% of Gen Z respondents felt a strong connection to creativity, considering it a reflection of their personal brand.

During the festival, the brands unveiled their latest innovations: Sharpie Creative Markers and Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Bright! Pens. They also invited actor, writer, and producer Mindy Kaling to lead a Q&A session, offering attendees a glimpse into her creative process.

The new Paper Mate® InkJoy Gel Bright! Pens feature six vibrant colours, designed to stand out on both light and dark paper. Gina Lazaro, Vice President of Brand Management at Newell Brands, emphasised the campaign's mission to foster creative confidence and celebrate ingenuity by overcoming barriers such as fear of judgment and lack of proper tools.

At SXSW, the Sharpie Studio provided interactive experiences that incorporated the new products, including fashion designing, creative cocktail crafting, and sending joyful postcards from the Paper Mate Joy Lounge. Additionally, attendees participated in studio events to learn new creative skills.

Our take

My mum only recently took to painting in her mid 60s retirement, and she’s joined enthusiastically by my four nieces, who were painting without the need for much encouragement from the get go.

If you’re reading this, the chances are your life is more creatively active than most, but the multiple distractions we face as we get older certainly come at the expense of some much needed self expression and emotional resetting.

Sharpie - a company that’s achieved what Hoover, Tannoy and Band-Aid have in making its brand name a verb/noun - is in as authoritative a place as any to entice a few more of us to be creatively active. We like the otherworldly, ‘Barbie-esque’ aesthetics of the activation too: another sign of the movie’s subtle bleed into the creative landscape.

On a more macro level, creativity has been the subject of a renewed focus of late from various brands. Lunchables recently dropped this advert in response to the advent of AI.

Similarly, Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone’ and LEGO’s ‘Rebuild the World’ campaigns aim to get product users into a more creative headspace.

It’s a cause, you won’t be surprised to learn, we’re all for at Creative Moment.

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