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A billion extra cards this Christmas

Posted on 30 November 2015

SunLife has now given away one million free pens

One million free pens – that’s enough ink for everyone in the UK to receive an extra 138 handwritten Christmas cards!

Since 1993, SunLife has been famous for its free pen. The popular insurer gives away a pen every five minutes and has now given away a staggering 1,000,000 of them.

That’s enough ink to draw a line from the earth to the moon and back – or for everyone in the UK to write 138 Christmas cards this festive season. End to end, the pens would be as high as 419 Shard’s (Britain’s highest building) stacked on top of each other.

Great for entertaining kittens

To celebrate giving away a million pens, Sunlife has been asking customers to send in video clips of how they use their pens, and created a two minute film showing some of the funniest and most unusual – including signing the wedding register, writing a parking ticket and becoming a kitten’s favourite toy.

SunLife has also commissioned a dozen limited-edition 22-carat gold versions of its famous pen which it’s giving away. Some will be surprises to customers who apply, while ‘Five Gold Pens’ will be given to those who write the best responses to SunLife’s ‘#SaveThePen or #BinThePen’ campaign on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

SunLife gold pen

Kicking up a pen and ink (stink)

When the free pen was introduced, the only way to apply for a SunLife product was to fill in a form and send it back. Originally, the pens had blue ink – until in 1997 someone at SunLife realised that was a bit unhelpful, since the application forms asked people to only use black ink…

Ian Atkinson, head of brand at SunLife said, “Your battery can go dead or you find yourself somewhere with no Wifi – but you can always rely on a pen. Unless it runs out of ink….. We’ve given away enough free pens to write the entire Harry Potter series more than 5,000 times over and as the clips our customers have sent us show, a free pen can still help people do magical things.”