Colenso tackles boys’ literary issues with movie/book campaign

Editor News Make a Comment

A new Colenso campaign from the NZ Book Council (NZBC) aims to address declining literacy rates, by encouraging Kiwi kids to read the books that inspired some of their favourite movies.

Literacy rates among Kiwi children are on the decline. New Zealand’s 2016 Social Report found that just 44% of Kiwi men aged 16-24 have achieved at or above level 3 literacy – the level needed to function in day-to-day society. 

To help turn this troubling statistic around, the NZBC joined with the National Library and Duffy Books in Homes to consult directly with Kiwi boys aged 10-15. 

In a series of co-design workshops, the boys revealed that reading needed to be more closely linked with the activities they enjoy most – like going to the movies.

“From The Hunger Games to Harry Potter, some of the world’s biggest films were actually based on books,” said NZBC ceo Jo Cribb. “So we thought if that link already exists, let’s make the most of it.”

The result was book trailers – short films designed to play before trailers for blockbusters based on books, encouraging kids to make the movie even better, by reading the book that inspired it.

“With Val Morgan’s backing, the book trailer will be played on the big screen in cinemas around the country.”

The campaign has started with a partnership with UK publishing powerhouse Bloomsbury – publishers of the Harry Potter series – to create a book trailer for J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

“We’ve been delighted to collaborate with the NZBC on this exciting project,” says a Bloomsbury Children’s Books representative. “We hope it’ll inspire young people of all backgrounds to pick up this magical book from J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world.”

Award-winning production house, Assembly, crafted the animated trailer – and scored an original, cinematic-style track to accompany it.

The film will be released as pre-rolls specifically targeted to play before YouTube trailers for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – clicking through to a free preview of the book at, donated by Bloomsbury.

NZ cinema network Val Morgan have also played a pivotal role in the campaign. With their backing, the book trailer will be played on the big screen, in cinemas around the country. “We’re very excited to help the NZBC bring this idea to life on a larger scale,” says VM national sales director Matt Tremain.

Digital posters will also appear in cinema lobbies, along with digital video walls, and digital banners across national online ticketing sites.

The campaign launched at the weekend on International Literacy Day (Saturday), and will run up until the release of the new Fantastic Beasts film in November.


Client: NZ Book Council
CEO: Jo Cribb
Agency: Colenso BBDO
Partners: Val Morgan
Production Company: Assembly
Media Company: OMD

Share this Post