Fans Uncap Self-Expression For First-Ever Sharpie® Music Video

New Campaign Gives Fans a Start and a Stage to Showcase Their Creativity

Jul 25, 2012, 08:00 ET from Sharpie

OAK BROOK, Ill., July 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- This back-to-school season, Sharpie is challenging fans to "Start with Sharpie" for an opportunity to see their Sharpie artwork featured in the brand's first-ever music video.  The video, debuting as a commercial during the "2012 MTV Video Music Awards" airing live Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, is the centerpiece of the brand's new back-to-school campaign, which places fans front and center – this time on one of the world's biggest stages.


Beginning today through Aug. 6, fans are invited to submit their Sharpie creations to the Start with Sharpie Challenge via the brand's Facebook page or on  Fan artwork will then be dynamically mixed to the soundtrack of "Purple" by California Wives, a Chicago-based indie-pop band also getting its official start in the Sharpie music video.

"The inspiration behind the 'Start with Sharpie' campaign is that you never know where your self-expression can take you.  In this case, your creation could be showcased in our first-ever music video," said Ryan Rouse, Global Director of Marketing for Sharpie.  "At Sharpie, we are about inspiring people to express themselves in their everyday lives and celebrating that creative journey, wherever it may start."

"As we get ready to release our first album, we are really excited to be working with Sharpie," said California Wives' singer and guitarist Jayson Kramer.  "Looking through all of the user-submitted art, we could tell that sharing ideas and promoting creativity is something that Sharpie is really passionate about.  As a band, it's easy for us to stand behind that.  We are excited to provide our music as the backdrop for that type of creative environment."

My Music Video

Immediately following the VMA music video debut, Sharpie will launch a digital first on its Facebook page – a one-of-a-kind technology that will give fans the ability to create their own custom music video.  Fans can simply upload their Sharpie artwork to create a personalized music video for sharing with friends via social networks. 

Get Inspired

To inspire fans to participate, Sharpie is showcasing the work of two of its most prolific and talented fans in its advertising, social media and public relations efforts.  Emmy Star Brown, Enrico Miguel Thomas and their unique Sharpie creations take center stage in inspiring 30-second story-form TV ads airing on MTV and Fuse, and longer-form videos available on YouTube, and digitally on MTV, Fuse, Alloy, Vevo and Sharethrough.  Brown, whose videos are currently running, is a Chicago graphic designer and artist that got her start by creating eco-friendly, freehand expressive artwork on salvaged glassware and glass windows.  She uses new Sharpie Metallic markers in gold and bronze (joining silver in the Sharpie Metallic lineup this back-to-school season).  Thomas, who resides in New York, got his start as a subway artist and has received national media attention for his work.  He uses the new Sharpie Brush Tip markers to create his detailed drawings on maps. Thomas' ad and video will begin airing July 31.

"Emmy and Enrico represent an evolution in our story-telling approach to brand marketing," said Rouse.  "Last year we won a TED award for our webisode on Sharpie coffee cup artist Cheeming Boey.  We hope viewers will connect with Emmy and Enrico's inspiring and authentic stories in much the same way." 

Draftfcb Chicago handles advertising, digital and media for Sharpie.  Ketchum Chicago handles public relations and social media. 

The New 2012 Sharpie Squad

The Sharpie Squad is a group of Sharpie's most passionate fans - dynamic creators, designers and innovators who express themselves with Sharpie in the most amazing ways.  The Squad, now in its fourth year, will take a decidedly "teen turn" in 2012 and be comprised of mostly teen brand enthusiasts.  Sharpie will help them get their start by sharing and showcasing their work on its social media sites beginning this month, including on Facebook where Sharpie has more than 3 million fans.

New for Back-to-School

If that isn't enough to get creativity flowing, Sharpie is introducing two new products this back-to-school season as tools for inspiration:

  • Sharpie® Metallic Permanent Marker: Joining the Sharpie Silver Metallic marker are new Gold and Bronze colors.  They create a brilliant sheen on both light and dark surfaces with ink that is quick-drying and both fade- and water-resistant – perfect for making your self-expression shine.
  • Sharpie® Brush Tip Permanent Markers: The first Sharpie permanent marker to feature a flexible brush tip allows you to create fine lines, bold strokes and shading all in one marker.  With the new Brush Tip marker, you control the width of your lines—thick or thin—with the pressure of your hand.  Perfect for shading and contouring, they are available in 12 brightly hued colors to match any mood or style.

For more information on the "Start with Sharpie" Challenge and Sharpie products, please visit

No purchase necessary. See official Terms and Conditions on  Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, District of Columbia and Canada 13+.  Ends 8/6/2012. Void where prohibited.


For 47 years, Sharpie has been the popular brand of permanent marker associated with the autograph experience. Newell Rubbermaid, maker of Sharpie® products, is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing and marketing of writing instruments, art products, office organization and technology products, including such well-known brands as Paper Mate®, Sharpie®, DYMO®, Parker®, Waterman®, EXPO®, Prismacolor®, uni-ball® and Rolodex®, among others. Visit for more information. 


California Wives is at work on their debut album. The group got its start in 2009 when the quartet—made up of Jayson Kramer (vocals, keys, guitar), Joe O'Connor (drums), Dan Zima (bass) and recently added Graham Masell (lead guitar)—self-released their first EP entitled Affair, which quickly garnered attention from the press and broadened their fan base. Visit for more information.

SOURCE Sharpie