Penguin Random House has collaborated with Anyways Creative for 'Books Make Us Better,' a fresh and engaging campaign to promote the joy of reading by gifting books during the holidays. Through humorous and engaging copy, bright and bold imagery, as well as a number of charming visual details, the campaign both appeals to and is accessible to readers of all ages.
Penguin Random House's wide-ranging catalog of books, paired with Anyways' playful and personality-filled creative style, drives the campaign's diversity of assets, which spans a dedicated book recommendation microsite, shareable social media gifs, and advertising campaign throughout New York subway stations.
On the campaign's microsite, the user selects whom the recipient of the book will be and pairs the book recipient with a particular habit, interest, or personality type to generate playful book recommendations from a curated list of Penguin Random House titles. The engaging book recommendation microsite reimagines the traditional genre-based recommendation system, instead matching books to individual personalities such as for a family member who may be an 'amateur sleuth' or a colleague who is 'an outside-the-box thinker.' The website also reveals unexpected graphic elements including a hand cursor which taps its fingers impatiently, or makes a penguin shadow puppet when left idle, enticing users to further explore the site.
Working with animator and illustrator Ben Ommundson, the Anyways team developed a striking visual language. Set against a vivid background, a central hand motif illustrates the gesture of gifting a book. Conversational and casual language is used throughout to humanize books and to appeal to an audience beyond voracious readers.
"With Books Make Us Better, we are proud to have worked with Penguin Random House to create an easy and fun experience for a broad audience, irrespective of age, background or current reading habits," commented Ellen Turnill Montoya and Charlie Sheppard, Creatives at Anyways. "Referencing the intimate gesture of giving a personal gift during the holidays, and the tactile nature of books too, we hope we have created a campaign that is engaging and warm throughout. It is brought to life with beautiful animation from Ben Ommundson, as well as some characterful surprises along the way too!"
For the overly cluttered environment of the New York City Subway, the campaign stands out in a crowded landscape. The campaign is featured on posters at the platforms at numerous subway stations throughout the boroughs, maximizing exposure to travelers looking for a reprieve from their commutes. The posters are structured in a neat grid formation, which includes the same bold color palette and echoes the simplistic yet eye-catching nature of the microsite. Each frame showcases a diverse range of books from across the group's imprints to resonate with a wide range of people.