M&C Saatchi has launched a collaborative campaign between publishers, bookshops, authors, and agents aimed at booklovers across the UK and Ireland.
The national movement – ‘Books Are My Bag’ – has aimed to celebrate the cultural importance of books and bookshops with a wave of promotional activity around the release of a branded canvas bag.
More than 1,800 chain and independent bookshops will distribute a quarter of a million bags from 14 September until Christmas Day 2013. Additionally, more than 100 high profile UK and international authors, broadcasters, models, sports stars, actors, politicians, chefs, journalists and comedians have pledged their support to the campaign. Among the celebrity backers are Jamie Oliver, Chirs O'Dowd, Damian Lewis, Delia Smith and Mariella Frostrup who have all been pictured with the bag.
Through events, PR and social media, the campaign is also calling on the British and Irish public to visit and purchase a book from their favourite bookshop on Saturday 14 September.
“We all know that the high street bookshop – which is such an important part of our culture to so many people – is in danger. This campaign and its iconic bag give people that care about books the opportunity to show their support and affection for bookshops on the street ... in effect be walking posters for bookshops,” said James Lowther, founding partner, at M&C Saatchi. “We have been overwhelmed by the amount of support we have already received from across and beyond the industry. It proves that people really do care about bookshops.”
Gail Rebuck, chair and CEO of Random House, added: “Bookshops are of great cultural importance to the country at large and the communities they serve. In these challenging times for the UK High Street, it is terrific that a world renowned advertising company – M&C Saatchi – has devised such a positive campaign for all booksellers. This initiative focuses on the art of the possible and will celebrate the simple joy of browsing – and, of course, buying and reading books.”
The campaign is using the hashtag #booksaremybag to drive awareness and engagement across social media, with a dedicated Twitter account having already gathered nearly 2,500 followers.