mightier than the sword

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its core product—the Cristal ball pen—Bic is reintroducing an advertising icon: the Bic Boy.

Attired like an English schoolkid (tie and short pants), the ball-headed symbol will enhance product packaging and appear in future promotions.

“Traditionally, Bic Boy has only been used in the logo to magnify the brand name,” said Janel Olsen, product manager at the Milford, Conn.-based company. “On this new packaging, he will debut in 3-D and highlight the pen’s benefits”—a “grip pier” grip, for example.

Introduced to the U.S. in 1951, the Bic pen “revolutionized the world of writing instruments,” said Olsen, providing consumers with a low-cost alternative to the gold-plated stationery of that era. In fact, the pen continues to enthrall.

“Older customers still feel an emotional attachment to the product,” said Olsen. “Our goal is to remind older consumers how great the product is and to introduce it to a younger audience.”

The 3-D Bic Boy packaging debuts in February 2001.