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Sharpie® "Mini" Takes Popular Marker Brand Anywhere

Posted on May 09, 2005

OAK BROOK - Sharpie, the popular brand of permanent markers and part of the Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE: NWL) portfolio of leading brands, today unveiled its integrated marketing campaign featuring Sharpie "Mini" markers, a new 12-color, "pint-sized" marker series with a clip - perfect for life's "mini" moments. The multi-million dollar campaign includes network and national cable television, print, online and in-store advertising, as well as mobile marketing starting today and running through the end of August. "Sharpie Mini delivers big on bold and colorful writing like its predecessors," said Rory Leyden, president of Sharpie. "These markers extend the ultimate in convenience with a cap clip that can be attached to just about anything. From a student's backpack or driving school instructor's rearview mirror, to a coach's whistle lanyard or an astronaut's suit, Sharpie Mini markers can easily go anywhere you need them to." McCann-Erickson Worldwide of New York developed the Sharpie Mini creative that continues the successful "Write Out Loud" campaign launched in 2003. Two 30-second television spots, each made up of two 15-second "mini" vignettes, will headline the campaign. The first spot, "Moon/Helmet," takes Sharpie Mini where no marker has ever gone before. The first vignette shows an astronaut pulling off the cap of his Sharpie Mini worn around his neck and writing "Doug Was Here" on a flag. Doug then proudly plants the flag on the moon's surface. The spot then transitions to a youth football game, as a frustrated coach tackles the need to literally draw out the game winning play, with a Sharpie Mini of course, on the back of the center's helmet. The second spot, "Frisbee/Driver," begins with a young man in a park who spots an attractive woman. Without hesitation, he grabs the Sharpie Mini that is clipped to his bag, writes his phone number on a frisbee and tosses it towards the woman. To his dismay, a leaping dog intercepts the flying love note in mid-air, thwarting his attempt at a date. The spot then changes to a teenager who is using a Sharpie Mini to color in a scratch on a car's bumper. The viewer then learns that this teenager is taking a driving test. After filling in the scratch, the student driver gets back in the car, hands the Sharpie Mini to the instructor and takes a second shot at pulling out of a parking spot. This time, he hits the car in front of him. The angry instructor grabs another Sharpie Mini marker, conveniently hanging from the car's rear view mirror, only this time he uses a different color marker to match the paint of the second wounded car. Both spots end with the announcer saying "Sharpie Mini," followed by Sharpie's familiar signature tagline - "Write Out Loud!" In addition to television advertising, the marketing campaign includes, print and online advertising, more than 15,000 point-of-purchase displays, 250 mobile marketing events through 2005, sponsorship of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Champion Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 97 Sharpie Ford and title support for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup series premier race, the Sharpie 500, August 27 in Bristol, Tenn. The brand is also kicking off the Sharpie Mini Tour at the PGA TOUR's EDS Byron Nelson Championship May 9 in Irving, Texas. The program, benefiting the nationwide Sharpie "Autographs for Education" effort, will visit select PGA TOUR golf events across the country this summer and fall. The Sharpie Mini Tour will invite participants to mark their golf ball with Sharpie Mini markers and try to sink a "mini" putt for a chance to hit the links in 2006 with the PGA TOUR's Chad Campbell in Hawaii. Sharpie Mini markers are available at office supply stores and other retailers nationwide in twelve bold colors: black, red, blue, green, orange, berry, lime, aqua, purple, plum, navy and burgundy. The suggested retail prices for 2-, 8- and 12-packs are $5.93, $11.73 and $17.78, respectively. About Sanford®, Makers of Sharpie® Sharpie is the popular brand of permanent markers first introduced in 1964. Sanford, a business unit of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NYSE: NWL) and marker of Sharpie 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®, FoohyTM, 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 sharpie.com or sanfordcorp.com for more information.