Sharpie® and Paper Mate® are on a mission to make the world more creative by inspiring creative confidence and encouraging self-expression through their new campaign, “Let’s Get Creative.” The brands teamed up for Newell Brands’ first-ever appearance at SXSW in Austin, TX, collaborating with Zeno Group, COFFEE Labs and Live Labs to build the Sharpie x Paper Mate Studio, a house-like experiential activation with rooms and activities celebrating creativity and self-expression.

The event highlighted the launch of two key writing innovations, the Sharpie Creative Marker and the Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Bright Pen. Both products were designed to inspire creativity through bold new colors that pop off the page without bleeding through, solving one of the most common frustrations among consumers of similar products. The ink from the Creative Markers and InkJoy Gel Bright Pens show up vibrantly on both light and dark paper - a unique feature of these collections. These innovations were driven by strong consumer insights about creative hobbies as drivers of good mental health, a priority for Gen Z and Millennial consumers. With the launch of the new marker and pen, Sharpie and Paper Mate aim to empower consumers to express themselves confidently and spark joy in their everyday lives.

The Studio housed the Sharpie Creative Closet, where guests could decorate Bubba® water bottles, tote bags, hats and sunglasses using the new Sharpie Creative Marker. In the Paper Mate Joy Lounge, they could write a custom postcard to their friends and families using the Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Bright Pen. At the Creative Cocktail Bar, attendees were invited to draw their dream cocktail or mocktail, and bartenders brought their vision to life. The Studio’s backyard hosted several interactive workshops, such as creativity-themed physical and mental workouts, a doodle analysis and a private Q&A with celebrity spokesperson Mindy Kaling, who will appear on Good Morning America in April to discuss the partnership and products.

The activation was a hit with SXSW attendees, who lined Rainey Street in both directions all weekend for a chance to explore their self-expression. Over 5,000 creative enthusiasts attended the activation, sharing their excitement through posts on social media. Local news outlets and national publications like Forbes, AdAge, and Adweek covered the Studio in their roundups of the year’s best activations.

The “Let’s Get Creative” campaign won’t stop here. Stay tuned across our channels throughout the year to see how Newell Brands continues to drive innovation, inspire creativity and light up everyday moments for our consumers!