August 25, 2010

The 6th Food Group: Crayons

cray·on / [krey-on, -uhn]
1. a pointed stick or pencil of colored clay, chalk, wax, etc., used for drawing or coloring.
2. a drawing in crayons.
–verb (used with object)
3. to draw or color with a crayon or crayons.
–verb (used without object)
4. to make a drawing with crayons.

When I hear the word crayon, my mind immediately goes to the iconic art supply and the brand I grew up with … the Crayola crayon and its magnificent box of 64 with a built-in sharpener. I remember holding them with little hands, learning how to use the different shades together, and even melting them for cool grade-school art projects.

So this new beverage line has me puzzled. You want me to ‘drink crayons?’ I’ve been taught all my life to keep the markers, paintbrushes and crayons out of mouth, and now there is an imperative to do so?

As a mom, I can appreciate the premise behind the beverage: a drink with no high fructose corn syrup, less sugar and more juice than leading drinks for kids. As a verbal branding associate, I see a great opportunity for a fun, new name that can appeal to kids in its tonality, and to moms in its approach to nutrition.

Using an arbitrary word for a brand can work, if it’s executed well. Apple built its brand off ease and the approachability of something as simple as a piece of fruit. Is Crayons trying a similar approach? Capitalizing on our childhood nostalgia and hoping that translates into a mental shift? That now, it’s ok to ‘drink our crayons?’

As for kids, will this product be confusing in real-life scenarios? “Mom, can I have Crayons with dinner tonight?” Or, “Kate, you can drink these Crayons, but don’t eat those in your art supplies.” For some reason, I can’t reconcile the idea of now consuming or drinking something that has been a part of my life for so long, and used in a very different way. What do you think? Are you ready to ‘drink your crayons?’

One Comment

  1. Jennifer   August 25, 2010 3:19 pm / Reply

    I am so not on board with this. Neither as a mom or as a brand consultancy employee. The words “clay, chalk, wax” are exactly what I think of when I hear the word crayon and even as I checked out the website. Sadly, these won’t be on my grocery list. I wonder if they would make good dyes?

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