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Sharpie® "Singled-Handedly" Changes Bold, Expressive Writing In New National Marketing Campaign

Jul 26, 2004

(Bellwood, Ill.) -- Sharpie, the popular brand of permanent markers and part of the Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE: NWL) portfolio of leading brands, is singled-handedly changing bold and expressive writing with the launch of its marketing campaign unveiled today. The multi-million dollar campaign that runs the end of July through August focuses on a new innovative marker series from Sharpie that may be operated using a single hand - just click and write.

"Sharpie Retractable markers are just like a pen - but even bolder, and they can write on virtually any surface," said Rory Leyden, chief marketing officer for Sanford, makers of Sharpie.  "There is a higher standard individuals expect from their Sharpie marker - we're looking to reinvent that standard."

McCann-Erickson Worldwide in New York developed the sequel to the Sharpie "Write Out Loud"  campaign started in 2003.  The 15- and 30-second television spots are slated to air late July and August on national cable networks.

The spot, "Baby," features a busy family managed by "Mom," who is frantically getting her kids ready for conceivably the first day of school.  Unfortunately her son will only stop crying when Mom is holding him.  Each time she attempts to put him down, he cries in a humorous series of howling and calm, and howling and calm.  But being the mother that she is, she simply cradles the baby in her left arm and grabs a red Sharpie Retractable marker with her right hand.  The baby is quiet.   The announcer says, "Got a free hand?  Grab a Sharpie Retractable, in eight colors.  One click and you can write on almost anything."  The spot ends with Mom clicking the Sharpie Retractable closed after shutting the baby's door for a supposed nap - no such luck since the baby lets out a wail, followed by Sharpie's  signature tagline - "Write Out Loud!"

In addition to television advertising, the marketing plan includes more than 20,000 point-of-purchase displays, 250 mobile marketing events through 2004 and the brand's fourth year title sponsorship of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup series race in Bristol, Tenn., the Sharpie 500.

Sharpie is also continuing its successful community grass-roots campaign this summer and fall, Sharpie Retractable "Autographs for Education," where the brand widely known for autographs partners with sports figures and celebrities in select markets across the country to donate school supplies and funds. The program will visit Cleveland, Milwaukee, Tampa and Seattle, benefiting select community-based education organizations and schools for a total of up to $30,000 in cash and school supplies.

Last summer, Sharpie debuted the program with wide receiver Terrell Owens, former San Francisco 49er and now Philadelphia Eagle.  The tours of community programs and schools also featured former St. Louis Rams defensive-end Grant Wistrom and now Seattle Seahawk, Rod Smith of the Denver Broncos and Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

About Sanford®, Makers of Sharpie®

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Sharpie is the popular brand of permanent markers. Sanford, maker of Sharpie permanent markers, is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing and marketing of writing instruments, art products and office organization, including such well known brands as Paper Mate®, Sharpie®, Parker®, Waterman®, EXPO®, Foohy®, uni-ball®, and Rolodex®, among others. Sanford makes more than 6,000 products, ranging from markers, pens and pencils to professional art products, fine writing instruments and office organization products. Visit or for more information.

For more information contact Susan Wassel at 630-481-2018, or email