Cannes Lions

Colors of the World

DENTSU MCGARRYBOWEN, New York / CRAYOLA / 2020

Awards:

3 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

The issue of equal & accurate representation for all is an old one. One that is exacerbated as the world becomes increasingly diverse without simultaneously advancing equal & accurate representation.

The effect has been significant & unsettling: generations of children growing up in a world that doesn’t reflect them. Our brief was to develop a campaign that helped kids find their place in the world by coloring themselves into it.

There were four key objectives for the COTW campaign:

1. Raise awareness of COTW crayons with key audiences.

2. Drive purchase consideration prior to initial exclusive launch at Walmart to demonstrate product viability & bridge the gap between PR launch and in-store release.

3. Drive purchase across all key POS, including: Online & In-store at Walmart and Crayola.com.

4. Create excitement among parents, teachers and children about possessing & sharing the power to accurately represent themselves in the world.

Idea

Never before have children been able to creatively express themselves in the world. By developing this product authentically, we gave them that opportunity.

So the agency analyzed the current 8-count multicultural crayon pack to show we needed to start from scratch to ensure COTW accurately reflected the diversity of the world and met the increasing need for inclusion. We engaged experts, including Victor Casale, former R&D director at MAC Cosmetics and current CEO MOB Beauty, who brought experience in creating skin tone foundations. The agency’s Chief Diversity Officer, Margenett Moore-Roberts, helped ensure Crayola’s insides matched its outsides.

Agency’s diversity and inclusion experts were engaged, impacting the business case to develop the product and throughout product development and launch, including counsel on the product name, individual crayon names, packaging design, messaging, consumer research, and more. The result: a global 24 crayon color palette that authentically reflects over 40 global skin tones.

Strategy

The new COTW product was designed to advance inclusion within creativity, impact how kids express themselves, increase representation and foster a greater sense of belonging and acceptance. The launch needed a meaningful and momentous moment, so May 21, the United Nations World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development became that moment.

The agency positioned Casale as a key spokesperson within the media strategy to speak to the unique and first-of-its-kind partnership between beauty and creative tools to cultivate a more inclusive world for children of all ages, races, cultures and ethnicities.

The program targeted parents, teachers, kids and tastemakers via mainstream media across a range of verticals, including parenting, beauty and multicultural press. B-roll featuring meaningful sound bites and product visuals joined a visual color wheel palette to authentically bring Colors of the World to life.

Execution

Colors of the World presented children with the first opportunity they’d ever had to truly draw themselves into the world. To pay homage to the significance of the launch, we built a campaign to help turn our idea into a movement by inviting the world to draw their #TrueSelfie, catapulting Colors of the World into cultural conversation.

To launch, we chose a momentous day, May 21, the United Nations World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

Beginning with coverage on GoodMorningAmerica.com, soon hundreds of news outlets across the country had picked up on the story of Colors of the World.

We created an anthem video featuring the self-portraits of children of all shades that were seeded across all of Crayola’s social & digital platforms - inviting the world to draw their #TrueSelfie. We gave #TrueSelfies a place to live forever through a virtual portrait gallery on Crayola.com.

Outcome

The success of the Colors of the World launch has been astounding. Within hours we exceeded Crayola’s PR expectations, and within weeks we sold-out of pre-sale inventory while product availability requests continued to mount. For months, Crayola worked to backfill orders due to the demand drastically outweighing the available supply in the pandemic environment. The overall campaign shattered Crayola’s initial revenue (8x sales forecast) and unit volume (3x sales forecast).

Even today, we continue to see tremendous success of the #TrueSelfie campaign across social platforms – even receiving organic engagement from celebrities like Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Anniston, Holly Robinson Peete, and Kristen Bell.

To date, Crayola Colors of the World campaign has won the Total Market Grand Prize at the 2020 ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards, the 2020 Creative Toy of the Year Award, 2021 US PRWeek Awards Best Consumer Launch and is shortlisted for a number of upcoming awards.

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