20 clever ads for books, bookstores, and libraries

Most clever ads for books, bookstores, and libraries

Books are all about being smart. Ads for books are difficult to create – they have to be smart, too.

Books, bookshops, and libraries are an extremely interesting subject for creatives all over the world.

The reason is simple. When done right, these ads will show how creative you are.

Ad agencies make these ads for their creative portfolios, to raise their creative reputation among clients and to submit to ad festivals.

And you know what? Unlike chips or alcoholic beverages, I have nothing against making spoofs for books, bookstores, or libraries. In the end, they are for the good cause.

Some of these concepts, like Mint Vinetu bookstore, have been extremely popular on the web. It doesn’t mean people from around the world would be coming to the bookstore in Vilnius the next day. It only means people would be more willing to unplug from the internet and reach for the book.

20 vintage posters about books and libraries

Read also 20 vintage posters about books and libraries

Top article

A growing collection of the vintage book and library posters that range from the late 19th century to the 50s of the 20th century.

20 most clever ads for books, bookstores, and libraries

1. Unplug with a book

Norlis Bookstore - Unplug with a book - Facebook

There have been many ad campaigns playing with book titles, but this series of ads for the Oslo bookshop Norlis is particularly timely. We are getting distracted by the digital world. The best way to get focused again is to disconnect and read a good book. Why not tell it by the books themselves?

Agency: Anti, Oslo, Norway
Creative team: Jason Kinsella, Erik Heisholt

2. Don’t forget to read more

Ads for books - Book Day

This brilliant ad reminds to read more books. Made for Book Day, but works anytime, anywhere. Just look at the stack of post-it notes, and you’ll remember what to do.

Agency: MatosGrey, São Paulo, Brazil
Creative directors: Silvio Matos, Leandro Castilho
Creative team: Ricardo Sarno, Filipe Medici

3. Reading shapes you

Ads for libraries - Reading shapes you - ad 1

Ads for libraries - Reading shapes you - ad 2

These ads for Colombia’s biggest public library Luís Ángel Arango resemble great book art by Mike Stilkey, to support a tagline “reading shapes you.”

Creative team: Juan Pablo Navas, Gustavo Zapata

4. Escape into a book

Ads for books - Escape into a book - Bus stop

Books have the wonderful power to take you to another world and escape daily problems the moment you open them. This benefit is perfectly visualized by this series of ads. The opened book and the Penguin logo are more than enough to get to the point.

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Singapore

5. Burn after reading

Book ad - Burn after reading

The idea puts the book-burning message of Fahrenheit 451 to the book itself. There is one match – matching number 1 in the title. There is also a matchbook striking paper on the spine of the book. The book seems to tell its reader: You can burn me if you want. The choice is yours.

Client: The Austin Creative Department
Creative director: Will Chau
Art director and designer: Elizabeth Perez

6. And you, why do you read?

Ads for bookstores - Filigranes - WOW

Does this campaign for Filigranes bookstore look familiar to you? The idea is originated from the fascinating, well-known book art of Isaac Salazar, who carves words into the pages of old books.

Wow! Hahaha! Yeaaah! And you, why do you read?

Agency: Air, Brussels, Belgium
Creative directors: Grégory Ginterdaele, Marie-Laure Cliquennois
Creative team: Antoinette Ribas, Philippe Fass

7. Don’t buy pirated books

Ads for books - Oxford Bookstore- Dan Clown

Ads for books - Oxford Bookstore- Charles Dickhead

A clever approach to the issue or pirating books: “Every time you get a pirated book, you disrespect its author.”

Agency: Mudra, Mumbai, India
Creative team: Sandip Gaikwad, Srinivas Murthy

8. The right book will always keep you company

The right book will always keep you company - Sherlock Holmes

The idea to literally visualize the thought “the right book will always keep you company” is what makes this campaign hilarious and memorable. Made for Steimatzky Books, working in every bed.

Agency: ACW Grey Tel-Aviv, Israel
Creative directors: Idan Regev, Tal Riven
Creative team: Kobi Cohen, Daphne Orner

9. Because you watched

Livraria Cultura - Because you watched House of Cards

Livraria Cultura - Because you watched Stranger Things

The concept was developed for a Brazilian chain of bookstores, Livraria Cultura, play with a common recommendation tool used by video streaming services.

This time, however, “because you watched” recommends not movies or TV shows but books.

Agency: Arcos, Recife, Brazil
Creative director: Carlos Renato Rocha
Creative team: Eduardo Fialho, Diego Koury

10. Recycled books

Ads for books - Ana Second-hand Bookstore

A self-explanatory idea for a Singapore bookstore that offers used books.

Agency: Leo Burnett, Singapore
Creative director: Steve Straw
Creative team: Allen Ng, Cheelip

11. For real book lovers

Ads for bookstores - Floriano Bookstore - Mug

Ads for bookstores - Floriano Bookstore - TV

With a tag line “for real reading lovers” these funny print ads convey a simple idea: it’s time to bring books back to their original purpose.

Agency: Filadélfia, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Creative director: Dan Zecchinelli
Creative team: Paulo Filipe Souza, Saul Gervásio, Dan Zecchinelli

12. Life in five seconds

Ads for books - Life in five seconds - Michael Jackson

This is a series of minimalist print ads for a brilliant book, Life in 5 Seconds, created and published by a Milan-based advertising studio H-57.

In the book, over 200 stories and persons are described in a series of pictograms. Following each story won’t take you more than 5 seconds. The ads are the essence of the book.

Agency: H-57 Creative Station, Italy
Creative directors: Matteo Civaschi, Gianmarco Milesi
Creative team: Matteo Civaschi, Anna Barisani

13. Listen to audiobooks

Ads for books - audiobooks

The ad for Lydbokforlaget, a Norwegian online store with audiobooks. All you have to do it to buy an audiobook and pump up the volume.

Agency: McCann, Oslo, Norway
Creative team: Frank Standal Dybhavn, Geir Florhaug

14. Audiobooks – Lips

Ads for audiobooks - Crossword bookstores - Lips

Here is another example of the ad for audiobooks. Crossword bookstores visualize the words – spoken.

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai, India
Creative directors: Zenobia Pithawalla, Mihir Chanchani
Creative team: Jitendra Patel, Arshad Shaikh

15. Books let you live a double life

Books will let you live a double life - ad 2

A series of imaginative print ads for Stories! bookstore show that if you read books you at the same time live two lives – and that this is happening instantly.

Agency: Kolle Rebbe, Hamburg, Germany
Creative directors: Sascha Hanke, Rolf Leger, Jörg Dittmann, Florian Ludwig
Creative team: Jörg Dittmann, Florian Ludwig

16. Read yourself interesting

Ads for bookstores - Read Yourself Interesting - Boardroom

You are what you read. People who read more are more interesting. If you want to be more interesting, let Pulp Books recommend you something to read.

Agency: Lowe Bull, Johannesburg, South Africa
Creative director: Rui Alves
Creative team: Juliet Honey, Lee Naidoo

17. Print books cost the earth

Print books cost the earth - ad for ebook company

The ebook company from India doesn’t exist any longer, but the poster has a universal message, highlighting one of the most important benefits of ebooks.

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai, India
Creative directors: Piyush Pandey, Abhijit Avasthi, Suresh Babu, Shekhar Jha
Creative team: Prasad Patil, Vikram Sood

18. A reason to switch to ebooks

Switch to ebooks

Another idea that explores the eco-friendliness of ebooks. Made for Sony Russia, the print ad says “An educated person reads one tree of books per year. Switch to ebooks.”

Agency: Dentsu-Smart, Moscow, Russia
Creative director: Mikhail Kovalev
Creative team: Anastasiya Minailova, Kirill Dikov, Katerina Kovaleva, Arakel Zatikyan

19. Become someone else

Books make you someone else - ad 3

Why has this campaign for Mint Vinetu bookstore become extremely popular in social media? Because it creatively describes one of the most desired benefits of books: they can make the reader someone else. Pick your hero at Mint Vinetu… or any other bookstore around the world.

Agency: Love Agency, Vilnius, Lithuania
Creative director: Tomas Ramanauskas
Creative team: Gediminas Saulis, Tomas Ramanauskas

20. A book can change your life

A book can change the story of your life - ad 1

Created for Penguin China, the campaign successfully attempted to describe one’s life in a single picture. Books can change life for the better. The illustrations were made by Bruce Xie. Analyze them in detail – and maybe you’ll find here the story of your life.

Agency: Y&R, Beijing, China
Creative directors: Nils Andersson, Ronnie Wu, Donghai Liu
Creative team: Candy Wang, Ronnie Wu, Jianjun Geng, Nils Andersson, Gao Han, Donghai Liu

21. Almost as good as new

Ads for books - Almost as good as new - Mark Twain

This series of print ads for Avelar Machado bookstore, offering used books, is fantastic. You’ll just have to take a closer look at the photos to get to the point: books at Avelar Machado are almost as good as new.

Agency: DraftFCB, Lisbon, Portugal
Creative directors: Duarte Pinheiro de Melo, Luis Silva Dias
Creative team: Ana Quina, Viton Araujo

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