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Pentel Recycology Presents Spin the Pen

January 16, 2009 Caples Student Campaign of the Year

Entrants: Daniel McCoy Erica Swallow

Objectives Our objectives were to build awareness of Pentel’s Recycology line of products and increase purchase rates among college-aged students nationwide. We wanted to engage our audience through online channels such as social networking sites and viral advertisements. Target Audience The target market was comprised of high school and college students between the ages of 15-24 years old. To be most receptive to our promotion’s message, they must be sensitive to environmental issues and have an active and outgoing lifestyle. In order to best approach this audience, we focused on online social networks such as Facebook and YouTube, which are driven by young and well-connected communities that are likely to support our viral advertisements. Social networkers can become brand advocates and promote Pentel Recycology beyond our initial media plan. Secondly, as we are conveniently located on the NYU campus, we were lucky to have insider access to the dormitory mail system and personal connections with listserv and club administrators. As a result, we were able to implement a wellrounded, on-campus direct marketing campaign. Positioning Our mission was to create a new position for Pentel Recycology as a highinvolvement line of products that would represent a fun, youthful and energetic 2

lifestyle along with an emphasis on the environmental image. In order to bring an energetic approach to the campaign that would also have word-of-mouth potential, we produced promotional videos of Recycology products being used in pen spinning exhibitions. These videos not only link Recycology products with a fun and high-energy activity but are also demonstrations pen spinning, which increased the likelihood that viewers would send video links to their friends and that the videos would go viral. This increased the campaign value. Ideal Consumer Response At our launch, we hoped that students who enjoyed the pen spinning videos would spread the videos to friends through online social networks and create a viral sensation. Likewise, we hoped that viewers who previously bought office supplies without deeply thinking about brand attributes would consider Pentel Recycology as an extension of an active and eco-conscious lifestyle and would be more likely to buy Recycology products. Message “Spin the Pen, Save the Planet” is our message, combining the pen spinning and environmental messages within the promotional videos. It serves as a call to action for viewers to take part in the Recycology program and directs attention to the core ideas of our promotion. Campaign Tactics and Media Mix The campaign tactics that were implemented highlight the environmentallyfriendly nature of Pentel Recycology products, while introducing a new concept – 3

pen spinning. Our campaign reiterates that consumers can enjoy the Recycology products for more than one reason – not only can they save the planet by buying eco-friendly products, but they can also learn to “spin the pen” while doing so. Our media mix included postcards, emails, a microsite, online social network sites, and word of mouth. Taking a closer look, we implemented these four tactics: 1.) Direct Marketing – We printed postcards (See Appendix One) that were distributed to NYU dorms and via email. The emails were sent to on-campus groups that had an interest in environmental issues, marketing, and general college news. 2.) Microsite – Our microsite,, acted as the main portal for all Spin the Pen information. We housed our Pentel Recycology commercials and pen spinning tutorials, as well as links to our Facebook and YouTube pages and the Pentel Recycology website. 3.) Viral/WOM – Our largest campaign focus was on social networking and viral marketing. We created a Facebook page (See Appendix Two) and a YouTube channel (See Appendix Three), both entitled Pentel Recycology. These online communities created a place for dialogue. They housed our commercials and information about each Pentel Recycology product. 4.) Campus and Community Outreach – We made connections with multiple on-campus clubs. Likewise, we recruited two expert pen spinners, Xero and JC (See Appendix Five), from the New York City community to star in our commercials. As a result, we were able to captivate the community in a meaningful way. Along with the local community, we made an impact internationally with the pen spinning community. As the pen spinning 4

community is mostly online, we were able to transcend international borders by featuring pen spinning. Our videos were viewed in Australia, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States.

Objectives Our public relations objective was to increase awareness of Pentel Recycology on the NYU campus and among pen spinners and environmentalists. We also aimed to spread awareness in other related communities, including marketing bloggers, pen and office supply enthusiasts, and general college news sources. We reached out to each of these groups with a standard press release (see Appendix Six) and followed up with all further inquiries. Our story was picked up by multiple blogs and news sources, including The Marketing Blog, College News website, and Women in Communications’ Lit Up! blog. (See Appendices Seven, Eight, and Nine). Strategy Our key public relations strategy was to contact groups that would be interested in our project. These group segments included: pen spinners, environmentalists, marketing bloggers, pen and office supply enthusiasts, and college news sources. We sent our press release to over forty contacts. Budget We sought to maintain accurate records of all campaign expenditures, and to report accurate cost figures at the culmination of the campaign. Our campaign costs are listed below. 5

Expense Flyer printing Food on set Pens Transportation for pen spinners Website design Web Space Lighting on set YouTube Search Ad Total Campaign Cost Results

Cost ($) 5.50 25.43 50.38 96.00 45.00 24.99 13.46 21.24 $282. 00

Throughout the campaign, our goal was to maximize our impressions by saturating our target audience’s media and to reach out to the press for further coverage. These tactics were successful. The numbers speak for themselves: 194 Facebook fans, 1,452 YouTube channel and video views, and 115,866 impressions. Some

impressions, such as press, were uncountable (See Appendix Ten).

Above: The final results for the YouTube Sponsored Videos campaign. The average cost per click was $0.17.


Above from left: Video views by day; Our videos were an international hit, viewed in 10 countries on YouTube alone.

Above: YouTube Insights Demographic information showed that our channel was most popular among teenage males.

Total Impressions as of Thursday, December 15, 2009
Media Direct Mail (Postcards and Email) Facebook MySpace blog Universal Pen Spinning Board YouTube (impressions + channel/video views) Total Impressions Impressio ns 800 1,154 64 1,112 112,736 115,866

*Note: Some impressions were uncountable (See Appendix Ten).


Appendix One: Direct Marketing Postcard and Email Flyer Below is the direct marketing postcard that was distributed in dorms and via email. Because our audience was NYU students, we used a neighborly tone to address our campaign. We felt that students would identify more with the campaign if they knew that NYU students had created it.


Appendix Two: Pentel Recycology Facebook Page Pentel Recycology on Facebook:


Appendix Three: Pentel Recycology YouTube Page Pentel Recycology on YouTube:


Appendix Four: Search Results for Pentel Recycology on YouTube We created a Google AdSense account in order to participate in YouTube Sponsored Videos. We set a daily budget of $10.00 and a maximum cost of $0.50 per click. Our channel appeared in the Sponsored Videos area (the first video) if the following phrases were search: Pentel, Recycology, Pentel Recycology, pen spinning, pen spinner, recycle, recycled, Handy-Line S, Cool Lines, Hyper G, environmentallyfriendly, pen, pencil, and marker. All of our videos also rank at the top of the video search for “Pentel Recycology”, “Pentel”, and many other related key words.


Appendix Five: Promotion by Pen Spinners For the commercials, we recruited two pen spinners, Xero and JC. Their YouTube channels are: & Both pen spinners promoted our YouTube channel on their channels, driving traffic to the commercials, Facebook page,, and the Pentel Recycology webpage. Xero independently made two videos in promotion of the project. The first was entitled “Pentel Project Info” and was featured on his homepage for multiple days (pictured below). This video explains the project and discusses the Pentel Recycology product line. The second video was entitled “Pentel Project – Behind the Scenes”. It is a documentary of the commercial shoot. For further reference, both videos can be found on his YouTube channel and within the “Favorites” section of our channel.

Above: Xero’s “Pentel Project Info” video


Above: Within the “Pentel Project Info” video, Xero featured multiple sites for more information on the project, including the Pentel Recycology webpage, our Facebook group, and our YouTube channel.


Appendix Six: Press Release


Appendix Seven: The Marketing Blog


Appendix Eight: College News 28/


Appendix Nine: Women in Communications – Lit Up! Blog


Appendix Ten: Examples of Uncountable Impressions

Above: Among other websites, our commercials were picked up by AOL Video.

Above: Our commercials were even picked up by a Japanese website called Taggy.