Like most companies, BIC—the iconic pen company—understands the need to support a cause. BIC and its employees are part of the global effort to promote access to education. The company is proudly contributing to “ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning,” one of the 17 sustainable development goals defined by the United Nations in September 2015. For this campaign, BIC chose teachers as the focus, motivating others to donate in addition to making its own contribution. The results have earned first prize in the “Cause-Related Marketing” category of Ragan’s 2018 PR Daily Awards.
The company’s choice reflected a genuine need: Teachers—already among the lowest-paid of professionals—often use their own money to buy supplies for their classrooms. Partnering with DonorsChoose.org, BIC donated $10 in “BIC bucks” to a local teacher or project whenever a consumer bought $10 worth of BIC back-to-school products during their back-to-school shopping.
A video was devised to promote the campaign. Three parents were asked to assist their child’s teacher with a class project. None of them knew they would be left alone with their classrooms, each of which had at least 15 students. The video documents each parent’s discovery of how quickly a project can stagnate without adequate supplies, and concludes with a call to action: Use your back-to-school receipts to donate to a local teacher.
The video was viewed more than 2.3 million times, leading to support for 770 projects and 684 teachers in 632 schools with a combined student population of 73,396.
Congratulations to the team of Ross Ullman, Janel Lewis and Linda Palladino at BIC, and Catherine East, Chris Healey, Heather Donner and Amy Blod of Doner CX.