UK pen giant Parker is activating around its Natural History Museum Ice Rink sponsorship this winter with an integrated campaign that includes Write Big – an online competition offering two people the chance to win a prize of a trip to New York’s Museum Of Arts and Design.
Parker will invite the winner to New York to see their message projected onto the Museum of Arts and Design via an innovative 3D mapping initiative. The winner will also receive a Parker Premier Black Fountain pen, an overnight bag, a pen case and, somewhat strangely, a key ring).
The work, which also includes traditional advertising, invites consumers to submit personal messages on a dedicated website to enter the competition. Messages can be a maximum of 50 characters and begin with the age old classic ‘What if…’.
As in “What if you could save a life with a pen?”
The site also includes an online gallery to inspire people to be creative and imaginative with their entries.
It will also launch national competitions in the press for people to win tickets to attend skating events. The sponsorship of the Natural History Museum’s ice rink runs between early November 2010 and early January 2011. A series of national press competitions will also be launched to win tickets to participate in skating sessions on the rink.
For Parker, a classic ‘gift’ product, the Christmas season is vital. So the Museum ice rink sponsorship through this period provides a participatory engagement platform through this key retail period and the Write Big competition connects the London museum with a New York sister space via a 3D video mapping project.
In addition to a filmed museum projection launch Big Write event, other promotional work spans from a McCann Erickson PR-campaign to press executions in UK titles including the Guardian, Financial Times, The Economist and Wallpaper that simultaneously promote the brand’s range of pens.
A campaign of appropriate links – connecting a major London museum with a New York one, linking writing to a pen brand and dovetailing the winter gift giving season with ice rink sponsorship – show joined up Parker planning.
But is an online competition (even one about writing) the right option for a traditional ink pen business? Is the tried and tired ‘What if…’ idea too hackneyed even for an established pen brand like Parker? Does 3D mapping reflect the craftsmanship and heritage of this brand?
Also, a travel prize with a ‘key ring’ thrown in – why?