Cut the crap, Crayola. You can't just declare war on all of our childhoods and then drag it on foreverrrrrrr. Have a freaking heart.
In case you've been lucky enough to miss the straight-up drama that is Crayola-gate 2017, we'll fill you in. For the past two weeks, the formerly innocent art supply company has taken fans on a wild and emotionally taxing ride, messing with history and crushing the hopes and dreams of aspiring young artists everywhere.
What began with a ruthless announcement declaring a single crayon from the classic 24-pack would be retired on Mar. 31 (a.k.a. National Crayon Day,) soon spiraled out of control into a mess of social media warfare, a disappointing promotional event and ultimately, a whole bunch of unanswered questions.
There's only one explanation for the madness: Crayola is thirsty AF.
It makes sense when you think about it — I mean, a company that has been going steady since 1885 is probably due for a big modern public relations stunt, and hey, summer's almost here, which means back-to-school art supply shopping won't come around for a while. But this does not excuse Crayola's extremely insensitive actions.
The horrible hype
From the start the campaign was riddled with heartless public relations tactics. From deciding to cut a crayon on National Crayon Day to pressure-packed promotional hashtags like #WhosLeaving and #ShareYourFave, the stage for disaster was being set.
The company appeared to show a slight regard for Crayola fans' feelings by letting everyone know the announcement would take place at a hyped-up event in New York's Times Square on Friday, allowing us to emotionally prepare to say goodbye to one of the beautiful shades.
But then, the company went completely off book.
On Thursday, a day before the big event and with no warning whatsoever, Crayola dropped the bomb early by posting a "retirement video" from the Dandelion crayon on its social media accounts.
— Crayola (@Crayola) March 30, 2017
What the heck, Crayola? You hurt us enough already, you didn't need to take things a step further and take us by surprise.
When questioned about the shady reveal, Joshua Kroo, Crayola's Director of Marketing Communications & Virtual Creativity Platform said, "One lucky fan came across the box and couldn’t wait to share the news with the world, and neither could we!"
So it sounds like the news was shared early because the art company suffered a bit of a leak. OK. That's fine. But share the news and call it a day.
The elaborate event promoting ~absolutely nothing~
Instead, the company proceeded with Friday's "celebration".
Despite the fact that Dandelion's retirement had already been revealed, Crayola still heavily encouraged fans to either attend the reveal event in person or tune in to watch via Facebook Live. Some brave and dedicated souls even trekked down to a cold and rainy Times Square before 9 a.m. ET to get a a glimpse of the brand new color. Do you know what they actually received? Disappointment.
Yeah, so Pentatonix — the a cappella group you openly dislike but secretly don't think is so bad — performed at the event, but other than that it was kind of a bust. The generous 9 minutes and 11 seconds that Crayola managed to livestream on Facebook consisted of several crayon-crazed employees talking to America's youth using those cutesy voices one uses to chat with an incoherent baby.
Judging from the Facebook comments of die-hard Crayola fans watching from home or risking their employment statuses by watching from their adult desks at their adult jobs, people were NOT impressed.
And to top things off, after putting us through all of this nonsense, Crayola DIDN'T EVEN ANNOUNCE THE NEW COLOR. Instead, Crayola's spokesperson explained at the Friday event the company is hard at work getting ready to introduce a new color. "More details about this new color will follow in May but I can share two pieces of info today," she said. "The first is that the new color will be part of the blue family and the second is this summer we’re going to invite fans to help us name color because we want you all to be part of Crayola history."
HOLD UP — we have to wait until THE SUMMER for this madness to end?! We're choosing a CRAYON here, people, not the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Appalled by the drawn out process still to come, Mashable asked Kroo for more clarification. He replied, "We’ll be announcing the new shade of blue in early May 2017, giving Dandelion the time he needs to retire gracefully from the 24 and 64 ct. boxes and for the Crayola product teams time to get its newest shade of blue just right." Awesome.
And as the icing on the Dandelion-colored cake, the horrible event countdown on Crayola's site is still running into the negatives. Simply soul crushing.
Crayola, only you can make this nightmare end. Please make it stop.