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Brand and Literacy

Elmer's 30th Birthday


Loved by millions worldwide, 2019 marked 30 years since Andersen Press published the first Elmer book.

David McKee wrote and illustrated stories with touching messages of positivity, so marking this special anniversary was a natural decision.

He never shied away from addressing issues such as prejudice and discrimination and his talent for educating young readers in the gentlest way still keeps the Elmer brand iconic and relevant for a contemporary audience.

Working in partnership with Andersen Press, our aim was to turn the UK patchwork via a PR campaign focused on Elmer’s messages of kindness and empathy.


What we did

Utilising the bright, happy colours of Elmer’s patchwork skin, we celebrated the enduring legacy of teaching children to be kind. Children read Elmer stories alone but also have them read to them by parents, grandparents, carers and educators, so our approach needed to be inclusive.

We created a series of media stories linked to a greater need for kindness and empathy in society which resulted in national and regional news coverage reaching over 8 million people.

From an interview including archive footage for BBC’s Newsnight, to BBC Breakfast, and lead features in the FT, Observer, Spectator and children’s newspaper First News, we made Elmer’s 30th birthday totally unmissable.

Our work won Best Generic Campaign at the 2019 Publishers Publicity Circle Annual Awards.

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