ccheader.tif

homesmall.tifcrayolasmall.tifcompaniessmall.tifarticlessmall.tif

 

The Definitive History of the Colors of Crayola

Part 25 – True Blue Heroes

 

This is a multi-part series of articles written to tell the tale of the history of color names for Crayola. 

You can visit earlier parts here: Part 1 - In the Beginning there was..., Part 2 - The Original Color Line Up, Part 3 - Other Color Names, Part 4 - The Gold Medal Changeover, Part 5 - Dwindling Down, Part 6 - Changes in the Roaring 20s, Part 7 - Crayola Color Wheel, Part 8 - New Assortments Equals New Color Changes, Part 9 - Crayola's Biggest Assortment Secret, Part 10 - War Time Changes, Part 11 - Enter the No. 48, Part 12 - The 50s, Part 13 - The Revolutionary No. 64, Part 14 - The Consistent Years, Part 15 - Specialty Crayons, Part 16 - Fun Alternative Color Names, Part 17 - Heavy Metal, Part 18 - More So Big, Part 19 - Decade of Experimentation, Part 20 - Dawn of the Color Naming Contest, Part 21 - Contest Winners and more Specialty Crayons. Part 22 - Magic and Mystery, Part 23 - One Hundred Billion, Part 24 - Entertainment Revolution

 

1997 was such a monumental year for changes that I broke up the year into several parts and at the end of those parts combined all of the changes on the revised color list.  This is the second part of 1997’s history.

 

Another New Color Contest

 

One of the bigger events held in 1997 was the “Crayola Search for True Blue Heroes” contest that Crayola launched in March 1997 in the USA.  Their "True Blue" program invited kids to take one of their eight new crayon colors found inside their new specially-marked boxes and nominate their favorite hero by drawing a picture, writing an essay and dedicating one of the new colors to their hero.  Eight winning "heroes" were chosen and were offered free trips to the Crayola factory in Easton, Penn.  Then, an overall winner was chosen from among those and had a special “True Blue” color dedicated to them and their hero and a sizeable donation was given to the charity of their choice.

 

From a promotional standpoint, this campaign was very successful.  Crayola won a REGGIE award for their marketing campaign.  The REGGIE Awards celebrate big ideas and bold thinking and are given out annually by the PMA (Promotional Marketing Association).  As Karen Barger recapped during the awards, "We wanted to create a program that only Crayola could do.  We wanted to have children think about who the heroes are in their lives; everyday heroes rather than celebrity-type heroes. By connecting that to the new colors and naming them after their heroes, it seemed to work well with the Crayola equity."

 

Crayola No 64 (True Blue Heroes) - 64 colors.jpg  Crayola Big Box (True Blue Heroes) - 96 colors.jpg  Crayola No 120 (True Blue) - 120 colors.jpg  True Blue Contest Rules.jpg

 

At the time Crayola had a 98% unaided brand awareness among consumers but sales of its older, iconic 64-count boxes had declined sharply in prior years, surpassed in part by the 96-color boxes that had received much of the company's promotional attention during that time.  The "True Blue" program was designed, in part, to remedy that situation. Three different boxes offered this contests information:  The original 64-color box, the 96-color Big Box and the newest 120-color box. In all, the company got 10,000 entries, about twice what was expected, Barger had told the press at the time.  And although only one print ad for it appeared--in Crayola Kids magazine--the promotion got 220 million gross media impressions, thanks to public relations efforts. "True Blue" had also boosted retail sales by 7%, Barger said.

 

Crayola True Blue Heroes - 9 colors.jpg  true blue hero crate.jpg

 

To announce the winners, Crayola created a special limited edition tin featuring the eight winners on their own crayon wrappers along with the overall “True Blue” crayon and winner.  Finally, Crayola also produced a special oversized crayon, True Blue, that was put into a retro-looking wooden crate.

True Blue Contest Colors 1997.jpg    True Blue Heroes Winners Crayons in Tin.jpg

 

For the color history, we had initially got eight new true colors along with eight new temporary names:  Crayon Color #1, Crayon Color #2, Crayon Color #3, Crayon Color #4, Crayon Color #5, Crayon Color #6, Crayon Color #7, Crayon Color #8. 

 

From there we had variations of the same true colors that were:  True Blue Heroes No. 1 Hero: Bill Pavlak Nominated By: Bradford Johnson, True Blue Heroes No. 2 Hero: Kenneth Klemm Nominated By: Austin Klemm, True Blue Heroes No. 3 Hero: Judi Newman Nominated By: Blyss Galizia, True Blue Heroes No. 4 Hero: Frank Brink Nominated By: Ashley E. Magrane, True Blue Heroes No. 5 Hero: Elizabeth Childress Nominated By: Christine M. Sharp-Straughter, True Blue Heroes No. 6 Hero: Tyler M. Seick Nominated By: Adam P. Seick, True Blue Heroes No. 7 Hero: Gary K. Woodring Nominated By: Adam Wayne Purifoy, True Blue Heroes No. 8 Hero: Amber Lynn Coffman Nominated By: Jesse Pittman along with a brand new named color True Blue (Blue) that used the true color Blue (second).

 

Canadian Heroes

 

Though the True Blue hero event was targeted and held only in the USA, in Canada Crayola held a similar event that was staged just slightly earlier than the USA version; from 1/1/97 through 3/30/97.  The “Who Is Your Hero?” campaign asked consumers to nominate their local heroes and in 25 words or less, explain why that person was so special to them.  Eight chosen heroes had their names appear on the eight new retro colors that were introduced into a special limited edition 96-color box.

 

 Crayola Big Box Grosse Boite (flowers) - 96 colors.jpg  Canadian Retro Hero crayons - Hero.jpg  Canadian Retro Hero crayons - Nominated by.jpg

 

A portion of the sales of this special box of crayons went to support the Canadian Special Olympics.  In addition, one of the eight new colors was reserved and dedicated to a hero within the Special Olympics community. This special hero was chosen during the Special Olympics Winter Games in Ontario in 1997.

 

Hero: Kenny Lewis Nominated by: Jane Kansas, Hero: H. Shawn Wilson Nominated by: Seretha Wilson, Hero: Helen Bradley Nominated by: Norsen Magyeal, Hero Marguerite Brown Nominated by: Mathew Hunt, Hero: Special Olympics, Nominated by: Crayola, Hero: Chantilly Iafrati Nominated by: Chantilly Iafrati, Hero: Bradley Boston Nominated by: Lyndsey Boston, Hero: Glenn Sylvester Nominated by Aaron Sylvester

 

In the case of the Canadian promotion, they didn’t produce a special overall color as their theme wasn’t “True Blue” and instead of placing the winners into a specially-made tin they chose to place them into the Canadian Big Box in place of the original contest colors; the normal method Crayola used for such contests.

 

This also marked a departure from the previous contest where consumers named the colors.  The actual colors didn’t appear until 1998 but it was Crayola that ultimately named them all; some relative to the individual stories they received.

 

For our color list, we had the following impacts:

 

Crayon Color #1 was a new temporary color name and a new true color (as yet to be formally named)

Crayon Color #2 was a new temporary color name and a new true color (as yet to be formally named)

Crayon Color #3 was a new temporary color name and a new true color (as yet to be formally named)

Crayon Color #4 was a new temporary color name and a new true color (as yet to be formally named)

Crayon Color #5 was a new temporary color name and a new true color (as yet to be formally named)

Crayon Color #6 was a new temporary color name and a new true color (as yet to be formally named)

Crayon Color #7 was a new temporary color name and a new true color (as yet to be formally named)

Crayon Color #8 was a new temporary color name and a new true color (as yet to be formally named)

Hero: Kenny Lewis Nominated by: Jane Kansas was a new variation color name replacing the contest crayon color #6 with the same true color (as yet to be formally named)

Hero: H. Shawn Wilson Nominated by: Seretha Wilson was a new variation color name replacing the contest crayon color #8 with the same true color (as yet to be formally named)

Hero: Helen Bradley Nominated by: Norsen Magyeal was a new variation color name replacing the contest crayon color #1 with the same true color (as yet to be formally named)

Hero Marguerite Brown Nominated by: Mathew Hunt was a new variation color name replacing the contest crayon color #4 with the same true color (as yet to be formally named)

Hero: Special Olympics, Nominated by: Crayola was a new variation color name replacing the contest crayon color #7 with the same true color (as yet to be formally named)

Hero: Max Keeping Nominated by: Chantilly Iafrati was a new variation color name replacing the contest crayon color #5 with the same true color (as yet to be formally named)

Hero: Bradley Boston Nominated by: Lyndsey Boston was a new variation color name replacing the contest crayon color #2 but its true color came from Pink Flamingo

Hero: Glenn Sylvester Nominated by Aaron Sylvester was a new variation color name replacing the contest crayon color #3 with the same true color (as yet to be formally named)

True Blue (Blue) was a new color name but it’s true color came from Blue (second)

True Blue Heroes No. 1 Hero: Bill Pavlak Nominated By: Bradford Johnson was a new variation color name replacing the contest crayon color #1 with the same true color (as yet to be formally named)

True Blue Heroes No. 2 Hero: Kenneth Klemm Nominated By: Austin Klemm was a new variation color name replacing the contest crayon color #2 with the same true color (as yet to be formally named)

True Blue Heroes No. 3 Hero: Judi Newman Nominated By: Blyss Galizia was a new variation color name replacing the contest crayon color #3 with the same true color (as yet to be formally named)

True Blue Heroes No. 4 Hero: Frank Brink Nominated By: Ashley E. Magrane was a new variation color name replacing the contest crayon color #4 with the same true color (as yet to be formally named)

True Blue Heroes No. 5 Hero: Elizabeth Childress Nominated By: Christine M. Sharp-Straughter was a new variation color name replacing the contest crayon color #5 with the same true color (as yet to be formally named)

True Blue Heroes No. 6 Hero: Tyler M. Seick Nominated By: Adam P. Seick was a new variation color name replacing the contest crayon color #6 with the same true color (as yet to be formally named)

True Blue Heroes No. 7 Hero: Gary K. Woodring Nominated By: Adam Wayne Purifoy was a new variation color name replacing the contest crayon color #7 with the same true color (as yet to be formally named)

True Blue Heroes No. 8 Hero: Amber Lynn Coffman Nominated By: Jesse Pittman was a new variation color name replacing the contest crayon color #8 with the same true color (as yet to be formally named)

 

Continue on for additional 1997 changes with a recap of the entire year’s changes to the color list at the end.

 

Next up:  Part 26 - The Discovery Series