A prediction: The next big promotional item? Adult coloring books! Yes, adult coloring books. A product trend that picked up steam in the consumer market around the holidays is poised to be a full-on craze this year. And if you haven’t heard of or seen them before, don’t worry – you’re about to.
Adult coloring books are much like run-of-the-mill children’s coloring books but instead of cartoonish/licensed characters, adult coloring books include fine detailed pictures, often called “mandalas.” In generic terms, a mandala is “any diagram, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically; a microcosm of the universe.” Heavy stuff, huh? And in order to truly “stay within the lines” you need either fine-tipped markers or colored pencils.
There’s an upside – a therapeutic advantage to adults putting colored pencil to paper. Adult coloring books are seen as a stress reliever, a chance for someone to wind down and step away from all things electronic; an opportunity to relax and channel their inner youth. And because of that, they make the perfect stress reliever and are effective in company-run employee wellness programs (less stressed employees = lower blood pressure = healthier employees = lower premiums for the employer!).
And, branded adult coloring books (as well as the pencils or markers) are going to be popping up everywhere. More workers will have them at their desks. Companies are going to put them in conference rooms. The health care industry will use them in marketing materials. The opportunities are endless: Colleges & universities, “Parents, don’t stress out while your child is away at Penn State.” Financial industry, “Leave your financial planning to us – it’s less stressful.” Travel industry, “See how colorful the world is and pass the time while on the journey.” The list and potential for branding and promotions is endless.