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D&AD New Blood Awards 2022

How can Penguin make books and reading an unmissable part of pop culture?


“Unlike other culture we consume on a regular basis - art, television, film and the-atre; reading is a mostly solitary experience. This leaves a hole for interacting with other book buyers. And as such, the content provided by these sources is often left by the wayside when it comes to popular culture, despite the strength of its relevance.”


The challenge: 


•    Break books into the mainstream cultural conversation

•    Play with their content in formats not traditionally associated with books

•    Encourage occasional book buyers to engage with them on a deeper level

•    Think about how you’ll make books a water cooler moment, something discussed in the ‘here and now’        amongst the wider public


The audience:


•    Occasional book buyers who buy 3-5 books a year

•    Mainly rely on book recommendations from others to determine their purchasing

•    Span a wide range of ages, but are engaged with cultural conversations and are aware of the latest               releases in other media, from television to content streaming

•    You can choose to select a specific community within this group to target. Think about the genres that           bear significant relevance to them

As a way of bringing books into the mainstream cultural conversation, I tried to come up with a concept that combined other media formats. The audience is occasional book buyers who might only buy between three and five books a year, so it’s highly likely they are still engaged with cul-tural conversations and are aware of the latest releases, just find out about these from other media sources. In the brief, Penguin state that you can choose to select a specific community within this group to target. As the audience span a wide range of ages, I’ve decided to narrow it down to 16-30 year olds who are particularly interested in music. They like listening to music whenever they get the chance, eg. while travelling, and enjoy frequent visits to live gigs and events which they use to socialise or as a hobby. To narrow down the genres even further I’m focusing on rap and hip-hop music.

My Concept / Idea:

Organising a social event where books merge with music. Before the event, everyone is encour-aged to read and find out about one of the books being promoted on the day, they’d be able to choose from a list provided. On stage performing, would be a selection of freestyle rappers - each addressing different books. Alongside I’d have an interactive element where the audience is able to send through quotes or scenes of the book that are projected live onto the stage to which each artist then starts freestyle rapping. Eg. The audience could choose to name a character in the book to which the freestyle rapper then could rap from the characters perspective, about the visuals and clothing of the character, or rap about where the character is from and their surroundings etc. Using word suggestions from the audience adds an engaging element to a social music event while also promoting books through modern day technology. The event would encourage people to read the chosen book so that they are able to take part in the interactive element so they can see what the freestyle artists come up with based on their own ideas from the selected book. Having a selection of artists on the day also means there’d be multiple books being promoted so when the audience listen to a rap about a book they haven’t heard of they might enjoy the story and be inspired to purchase the book at the end of the event.

AuthoRise Poster pinkpink.jpg

For the title of my event I wanted to come up with something that was a play on words. ‘AuthoRise’ felt like the most suitable as I was able to incorporate ‘author’ as in the author of the book, ‘rise’ to resemble up-and-coming musicians, and ‘author-ise’ to include the audience as they usually tend to give approval to a freestyle rapper in terms of whether their bars and lyricism are ‘hard’ enough.

In terms of promoting I would mainly focus on promoting through the artist’s socials, in and around Harlem, and word of mouth. Though my audience doesn’t necessarily read many books, they are engaged with cultural conversations and are aware of the latest releases in other media. This would allow me to promote my event through socials channels including Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and many others. With all of the lineup artists being local it would be wise to use Harlem and the fanbase of the freestyle rappers as a way to encourage people to attend my event

For my final poster I incorporated all elements that an event poster would showcase.  This includes the title of the event, the venue, the artists performing, the date, and who it’s hosted by. In the design I accentuated all these notable factors, as well as the audience dancing and Penguin’s logo at the very bottom.

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