Imagine the poor admen back in the 60s trying desperately to take old brands and make them young and hip for the youth market. Was there a focus group that said, "I really hate boring ballpoint pens that look like the one my grandfather uses. It's a bummer."

So they gave us Ops'n Pops. Huh? What the...? I like the pens. I even like the add with the pshychedelic type reminiscent of Bill Graham Fillmore concert posters. But "Ops'n Pops"? Really. How long did it take them to come up with that name? And why? And what was it like to hear the copywriter say "groovy" for the first time in a meeting with the client?

Click on image to see it larger. (SOURCE: Teen, June 1968)

The 60s were an odd time. Rather schizoid. On one hand you had the girls in the Breck ads looking like traditional nice girls. And then you had PaperMate trying to win over girls who might be using Breck, but were secretly wishing they were hanging out on the Strip with Buffalo Springfield. An advertising high wire for sure.

Poor admen. Poor poor admen. Life used to be so easy.


  1. Ops 'n' Pops - op art and pop art. I had the orange one in the middle. I still do, I think.

    1. Indeed, op art and pop art, but it sounds like it would have been a better name for a popsicle or lollypop. Odd name for a pen. I think it's great you still have one!