Is that Pen in Your Pocket?

RAM: Is that Pen in Your Pocket?How do you sex up a pen? That was the problem for marketers of Pentel's Hyper-G eco-friendly pen. To up the ante, the Hyper-G is aimed at digitally driven college students. Hey, they still need an old-fashioned stylo once in a while, don't they?

The Smoothest Line campaign featured an expandable ad created by Alloy Media + Marketing that streamed videos of students at 37 college campuses delivering their killer lines, inviting viewers to a microsite where they could submit their own best come-ons for a chance to win a spring break trip, the most devastating come-on to be chosen by their peers. (The winner: "Your Father must have been in the Bomb Squad, because you are Dynamite!")

Ads ran on the ad network, with promotions in college newspapers and posters on campus posters. Buzz squads hit the quads to videotape smooth-talking students, distribute pens and other swag.

It may be wrong to try to hook the college crowd on cigarettes or credit debt, but Pentel said the campaign results - 1.7 million interactions with the ad, 11,500 people voting for best line and 50,000 visits to the Web site - gave it a chance to create brand loyalty when these kids graduate and become young professionals. Or, in the case of liberal arts majors, need lots of pens to write down the answer to, "You want fries with that?"

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