Crayola’s “Art With Edge” social campaign helped the creative brand experience some of its largest growth online during the three-week initiative.

Developed with Red Interactive Agency, the concept was designed to relieve stress for college students during finals and mid-terms by creating “surprise and delight moments.” After students expressed their feelings across social media, Crayola reached out to them with Crayola product packs, gift certificates and pizza.

“Most of the students we reached out to were genuinely excited and thankful for a simple gift and message of encouragement,” says Mark Beechy, ECD of Red Interactive. “The internet can be a pretty cynical place but after a few weeks of reaching out to tired, hungry and stressed students I walked away amazed at how much impact a simple gesture of kindness can have. It doesn’t take much to brighten someone’s day just a little bit.”

Crayola reported 4,000 more Twitter engagements per month during the course of the campaign, as well as an average of 40.8 engagements per tweet within the hashtag #ArtWithEdge. There was a week over week percent increase of hashtag mentions by 614% and 455% increase of potential hashtag impressions week over week.

“And the sincere thank you’s we got back made for a really enjoyable campaign to be a part of,” says Beechy. “Rarely in marketing do we get to simply help someone out. It was a nice change of pace.”

Early in the campaign, college students started to strongly associate both Crayola and #ArtWithEdge coloring books as a de-stresser for finals week, they say. And Crayola’s Twitter feed began seeing students reaching out and calling Crayola “the plug” for saving them during finals week.

“College kids like coloring,” says Beechy. “Who knew? It’s an easy way to just relax and slow down for a few minutes. And a good reminder for all of us just how refreshing that can be. Also, students aren’t super jaded about everything.”

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