We helped Penguin Random House celebrate the joy of reading

Books Make Us Better. The legendary US publisher Penguin Random House asked us to help raise awareness of gifting books for the holidays by creating a playful campaign. We created a book recommendation website, bright and bold shareable social media gifs, and an engaging advertising campaign that popped up in New York subway stations during the holiday season.

Say it with a book. The campaign suggests books based on common habits and personalities. This is as giving advice can be hard, but saying it with a book makes it that little bit easier (and funnier). It was important for people to connect to the campaign on an emotional level, so the copy takes a conversational tone, playing with the quirks and traits we can all relate to.

From IRL to URL. To support the campaign, we created a book recommendation website that invites users to find a book for their own loved ones (or themselves) by selecting the recipient and their defining trait. From the ‘amateur sleuth’ family member; the ‘outside-the-box thinker’ colleague; or ‘city-escaping’ friend; the recommendations are based on the person rather than the genre.

For the... To share Books Make Us Better with the world, we created a series of subway posters in New York, as well as a set of social ad assets. The copy for these was written specifically for each book recommendation, for example ‘For the first lady in your life’ accompanied Michelle Obama’s Becoming.

We also created a set of templates and a design toolkit, to support Penguin Random House with the creation of any future campaign materials.

We loved the experience of working with the Anyways team — when we came across their previous work, we thought they’d be the perfect fit for this campaign, and we were delighted by what they delivered. From the impactful visuals of the assets to the charming details of the site, we are thrilled with the final product.

Adam Royce, VP Creative Strategy Director, Penguin Random House