With 'Stay Creative,' Crayola Taps Adults' Artistic Nostalgia

Crayola began collecting children’s drawings 40 years ago, and to celebrate the anniversary, the company is giving the artwork back to its creators.

Working with Dentsu, the company filmed the now-grown artists as they unwrapped their childhood projects in "Stay Creative," a six-minute film that captures how they believe they are still creative today. The effort is part of “The Campaign for Creativity and is timed to launch ahead of the UN World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21. The campaign is  based on new company research that finds 60% of parents worry that their kids don’t participate in enough creative activities. Victoria Lozano, Crayola’s executive vice president of marketing, tells Marketing Daily what she hopes to accomplish with the new campaign.



Marketing Daily: I see your office is lime green. Is that your favorite Crayola color?

Victoria Lozano: No. Wisteria is. But I got this office after the colors were selected. My old office did have purple.

Marketing Daily: I’ve always loved Periwinkle. And Carnation Pink.

Lozano: See? Color is very, very personal.

Marketing Daily: Tell us about this new campaign. What inspired it?

Lozano: So Crayola is 120 years old, and from the beginning, it has been based on the idea that creativity is essential for all kids. It is our core mission.

With this campaign, we want to elevate meaningful conversations about childhood creativity and stir up new ways to talk about it.

Marketing Daily: The campaign started with some research, too. What were those findings?

Lozano: We wanted to understand how parents viewed creativity and if they valued it. We wanted to know if we need to convince people that creativity is important. And we found that no, we don't. Parents know it's important. But there are very practical real-life barriers. They told us they wanted a partner to help them put creativity into action.

Marketing Daily: Crayola has collected kids’ artwork for over 40 years. Why give it back now?

Lozano: We were wondering how to start this emotional conversation about creativity with parents. Someone said, "We have a lot of artwork from kids who are now parents. Wouldn't it be great to give it back?" And from there, it just snowballed. Whenever we explain this project to people, their eyes just widen. They get the emotional impact of returning these mementos.

Marketing Daily:
How did you choose the three people in the film?

Lozano: We looked for a variety of people across the country and found these three compelling, inspirational stories. They were all varied. One was inspired to create this project by her dad, another by his fifth-grade art teacher. They had the kind of range we believe would inspire parents.

Marketing Daily: Where is the campaign running?

Lozano: On social platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. And while the anthem is six minutes long, we also have shorter versions. And there is some paid media. We want to get this message to as many parents and caregivers as possible. But this is just the beginning since we plan to return 50 more pieces this year -- and, ultimately, all 1,000 pieces of art. We think those people will be ambassadors who will share their messages.

Marketing Daily: I heard you speak at a conference once and was impressed by how high Crayola’s brand awareness is. Yet very few adults are in crayon-buying mode, at least very often. So, if it’s not awareness or even sales, what does a social-first campaign like this accomplish?

Lozano: We’re known as a company that makes many great products, but our mission is to help parents and educators raise creative kids. This is a manifestation of our mission, directed at conversations with parents and caregivers. The more creativity is nurtured, the more kids are given opportunities for creative moments, that’s a good thing for us as a brand. But more importantly, it's a good thing for kids everywhere.

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