Pilot Pen’s FriXion erasable pen has a core target of moms and kids through teens, and Hollywood Branded presented an advertising solution to bring heightened awareness and influence purchase during the key back to school season. After our team read a script where there was heavy pen and drawing by a 14 year old character, we realized there was a goldmine of an opportunity for Pilot, as the film fit their needs perfectly. The solution: a partnership with CBS Films’ Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, the first film adaptation of James Patterson’s successful book series of the same name.

Hollywood Branded developed the building blocks of the partnership, developing a plan that would provide on screen exposure, as well as additional assets for a strategic promotional campaign inclusive of print and TV advertising, and a social media overlay. Our team worked both with Pilot Pen as well as their full service agency on the print and TV plan, outlining the media buy specifics for the program’s sell in to the studio and production company. We additionally worked with their two social media agency teams to develop a comprehensive social overlay program.

product placement case study

You are a fabulous partner. Thank you for all your help throughout the campaign.” –Managing Director, Canvas Blue




Rafe Khatchadorian (Griffin Gluck) has an epic imagination and a slight problem with authority, and these things collide when he transfers to a middle school where students are expected to follow the rules. This doesn’t sit well with Rafe. With help from his new friend Leo (Thomas Barbusca), the mischievous lad concocts schemes to drive his tyrannical principal (Andy Daly) crazy while also using his charm and wits to impress a girl (Isabela Moner) and battle the bullies, while not upsetting his mother too much (Lauren Graham).


Hollywood Branded worked with the production team to outline relevant scenes for Pilot Pen usage, as well as additional opportunities for ‘clicking’ of the retractable pen. Organic pen placement usage was negotiated throughout the film with Rafe, with his drawings coming to animated life and featuring the erasable feature of the pen, as well as used to cross off his list of rules he breaks. In post production, Hollywood Branded worked with the studio to enlarge the logos to pop off the screen and be more highly visible.

Two radio stations worked with Pilot’s team to create on air giveaway opportunities to win tickets to the premiere party in New York. Tickets and access to the premiere were provided by the studio to support the prizing.

magazin products for pilot pen


The costs for the brand integration was partially offset by Pilot’s ability to co-promote the film through their planned media leading up to and through the film’s release. Pilot placed two ads in Parents magazine and Family Fun magazine. Additional national FSI print ads showcasing the film partnership were run.

pilot pen tv ads


Hollywood Branded worked with Pilot’s media agency and the studio to fully produce the :45 TV commercial, which included the securance and coordination of all graphics, music licensing, video from the film and voiceover talent. The TV ad ran nationally across Disney networks including: Boomerang, Cartoon Network, Discovery Family, Disney XD

A comprehensive Snapchat campaign was created with multiple influencers creating video stsories around Pilot’s FriXion pen line and Middle School The Movie. The program delivered over 5 million impressions and a value over $200k.

Working with BrightRed, Hollywood Branded coordinated assets and approvals for a Twitter social media takeover on Pilot’s account, with a Twitter chat.


“It’s entirely possible that even the folks who made “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life” will be pleasantly surprised by the cross-generational appeal of their spirited comedy…” – Joe Leydon, Variety