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Extreme Measures — Seeing Red

Digital Library > Defining and Serving a Market > Customer feedback “Extreme Measures — Seeing Red”

A red Swingline stapler plays a pivotal role in "Office Space," a 1999 film. As the dark comedy gained a cult following on video and cable, its fans deluged Swingline with calls and e-mails requesting red staplers.

The only problem: Swingline didn’t make red staplers. A prop designer had created the movie version.

When enterprising fans began spray-painting black Swinglines and selling them online, the Lincolnshire, Ill., office-supply company recognized the growing market. The "Rio Red" Swingline debuted in the spring of 2002 and became the most popular item on the company’s Web site, even at twice the price of its basic black model.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2002

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