June 8, 2012
SÃO PAULO, BrazilMany an individual has unconsciously resorted to chewing the end of their pencil in moments of pensive, perhaps apprehensive, tension. Classically, consider the student amidst the intensity of exams. As the brain whirls, spinning potential solutions to a pending problem, the eyes draw up and right, and, with an eyebrow raisedwithout even thinking about itthat No. 2 pencil rises, poised for nibbling.
The Brazilian advertising agency Ageisobar clearly understands this nervous reactionas well as the target market for its client, Gang Chewing Gum. As Ad Age reported, the agency created 5,000 chewable pencils, with colorful chewing gum in place of erasers (see For Chewing Gum Client, Ageisobar Creates a Chewable Pencil). They then distributed the pencils in schools around São Paulo right before exam season. The stunt was successful enough for Gang to consider commercializing the product.
But how would teachers react? That mileage might vary from educator to educator But in an age where cell phones are de rigueur for students everywhereand regularly confiscated in classroomsand caffeinated, sugary, blended cappuccino shakes and energy drinks fuel the teenage frenzy, chewing a bit of gum seems downright innocent.
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