Kids these days don’t read enough to develop the language skills they need to survive independently in their later lives. Sure, they read Instagram captions, or neon signs directing them to a snackbar, but they don’t read (enough) books. That is problematic, because reading books can help them focus, expand their vocabulary and experience worlds and perspectives they don’t know.
To make the kids of the city of Utrecht read more books, we developed a campaign that emphasises the fact that they are already halfway: the step from an Instagram caption or Youtube subtitles to a book is really not that big, and kids read more Instagram captions, subtitles and street signs than ever. Therefore, we spread our message both in a poster campaign, and in a guerilla campaign that will be integrated in the streetscape of Utrecht: the places where you would be able to find something – anything – to read anyway, are now automatically linked to the library. Because if you can read a street sign, or a restaurant menu, you can also read a book.
The copy construct of the campaign is a play on a common childhood phrase that one can find on the insides of probably every (high) school – be it on a toilet door or on a note passed around from one to another. ‘Wie dit leest … is gek’ translates to ‘Whoever reads this … is nuts’. It’s a bit childish, a bit tongue in cheek, but therefore all the more recognisable for practically everyone under and above the age of 18. As it speaks directly to the reader, and mentions the thing he/she is doing (reading) everyone feels that the message is clearly addressed to them: if you can read this, you can read on, and read a book.
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