Of all the indignities heaped upon the legacy of childhood – tablets, on-demand kiddie programming, digital monitors that ensure helicopter parents can track every movement – nothing slams the memory of the traditionalist more than the collapse of the crayon.
According to Josh Kroo, director/marketing communications at Crayola, kids are the unfortunate collateral victims of their parents’ passion to keep up.
“The grown-ups, as we call them, started to bring in a ton of markers and pencils into their houses. What happens when you bring markers and pencils into houses? All of a sudden, kids start to switch from crayons to markers and pencils at a much faster rate.
“Crayons are for young kids, but we saw that they were switching earlier.”
And it was a legacy-threatening shift for the 115-year-old Forks Township, Pennsylvania-based subsidiary of Hallmark Cards.
“This is the core of our business,” Kroo told delegates at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2018 Brand Activation Conference. And the brand’s actual mother lode is the iconic 24-count crayon box that, for decades, has been part of every child’s back-to-school starter kit.