The perfect book shop experience is playfully recreated online for Penguin Random House

Working with Anyways Creative, the publisher reminds shoppers that Books Make Us Better.

Book covers look great in a shop, but online we're awash with a sea of thumbnails that reduce great cover art into nothing but digestible blocks.

That's why Penguin Random House's latest Books Make Us Better campaign is such a winner, the online equivalent of going through a book shop with staff by your side giving recommendations. Visitors to the microsite are able to select choose whether buying for themselves or someone else, either being paired with a particular habit, interest, or personality type to generate very playful book recommendations.

If you or your beloved's personality type is, say, an 'amateur sleuth', then mystery novels from the Penguin Random House (PRH) catalog will be offered; an 'outside-the-box thinker' meanwhile could choose something like the Prince biography.

Working with animator and illustrator Ben Ommundson, London's Anyways Creative developed a striking visual language for the site, GIFs and poster assets. Upon a vivid background, we see a central hand motif illustrate the gesture of gifting a book, while personable language aims books to as wide an audience as possible, reminding us that books don't just have to be gifted to bookworms.

"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!"

"This holiday campaign is our first foray into executing a unified campaign across our channels with a distinct creative direction and tone of voice," adds Adam Royce, VP creative strategy director at Penguin Random House.

"We’re looking forward to creating more of these meaningful campaigns in the future to continue to understand, reach, and engage more deeply with our consumers, raise awareness of books, and build experiences that help readers to find their next great read."

The campaign is also featured on posters at the platforms of numerous New York subway stations, structured in a neat grid formation.

The prints included the same bold colour palette of the microsite, each frame showcasing a diverse range of books to resonate with the wide range of commuters in the city.

Try the site for yourself at Books Make Us Better.

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