Campaign Literally Spells Out Benefits Of Adult Literacy Program

Solving a puzzle, whether it's work-related or a brainteaser, gives the problem-solver a proud sense of accomplishment. Think of what an "a-ha" moment on the face of a child resembles. I bet you're smiling.

The Greenville Literacy Association in Greenville, South Carolina used a guerrilla campaign with street optical illusions to illustrate the services the company provides to its adult literacy students. 

The first installation featured the top half of a word printed on the ground of a heavily trafficked pedestrian walkway. A sign nearby instructed passersby on how to read the word: stand atop a nearby bridge and look down. The other half of the word was printed on the railing, and if you stood in the right spot and lined up the halves, a word emerged: "literacy."

The second installation appeared above elevator doors. A series of illegible smooshed lines actually created a word if you stood directly below them. The word again was "literacy." The campaign served to place passersby in challenging situations regularly faced by adult literacy students and promote Greenville Literacy's annual "The Really Big, Really Good, Really Cheap Book Sale." See a video of both campaigns here.

Proceeds from the book fair benefit the Greenville Literacy Association. Roughly 16,000 people attended this year's fair, raising $130,000 for the program.  

"The bridge execution was the most difficult installation," said Stephen Childress, associate creative director of bounce, the agency that created the campaign. "We first had to create a large template for the letters on the sidewalk. Once we had that, we were able to determine the appropriate size for the letters on the bridge railing, which were smaller due to the perspective. There was a bit of trial and error trying to get the perspective and the sizing of the letters just right so that they would line up correctly."

The agency is no stranger to creating nontraditional campaigns for GLA's annual book sale. I wrote about their 2007 campaign, which included placing books in grocery stores to encourage people to donate used books to the book sale. In addition to this initiative for the "have any books lying around?" campaign, "we turned the side of a parking garage into a book shelf, stairwells into giant stacks of books, and we even made tiny Post-It note packets look like famous books by creating tiny book jackets for them," continued Childress.
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