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Insta Novels

Insta Novels | The New York Public Library | Mother
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basics
Industry: Culture, Recreation & Sport
Media:Cyber
Style: Minimalism
descriptioncnen
Background

In 2016, 80% of U.S. teens reported consuming digital content online daily, versus only 20% who reported reading a book, magazine or newspaper. This 20% figure is the lowest ever recorded. It’s a conversation heard all too often: technology, and in particular social media, is the enemy – a modern pollutant dumbing down people’s intelligence. So at a time when many believe we’re witnessing the death of literature at the hands of social media, it would seem counterintuitive for a library to embrace a digital-first philosophy. Yet that’s exactly in tune with the Library’s mission to “advance knowledge by providing free and open access to materials and information…”

Describe the creative idea (40% of vote)

The New York Public Library wanted to meet teenagers, with great stories, exactly where those teens already were: on their phones. We created InstaNovels, the world’s first digital library created specifically for Instagram. We uploaded full books directly into Instagram Stories, thereby hacking the world’s most democratic social media platform. The program created an entirely new experience in e-reading, one that mimics the familiarity of paperback novel but for today’s audience.

First, we selected some of the greatest pieces of classic literature that would resonate with today’s teens. We then worked with Insta-famous illustrators to reimagine each cover for our digital audience. Once the Insta Novel was complete, we saved each title to The Library’s Instagram Highlights, thereby turning the feature into a digital bookshelf that anyone could access, any time.

Describe the execution (40% of vote)

The Insta Novels program is a simple idea: the full book is uploaded directly into Instagram Stories, complete with unique and engaging design elements. From the color of the page, to the placement of the thumb rest, to the original soundtracks, we thoughtfully sweat over every detail of this new format. The background is a warmer white so that it’s easy to read on screen, and the font is Georgia, a typeface that pays homage to the history of the written word in both print and digital. Readers rest their thumbs on the screen to hold the page. They lift their thumbs to turn the page. The thumb holder also doubles as a flip book: if a reader lets the book run they see an animation. Even the music for each promotional video was created using the sound of real books.

List the results (20% of vote)

We promoted the project organically through press and social platforms, for a total media spend of $0, the same price as a library card. The user response the day Insta Novels was released exceeded any of our wildest expectations. Clearly, people were ready to read something with more substance on Instagram. Since Insta Novels launched, @NYPL’s Instagram following grown over 80%, exposing 155,000 more people to The Library’s efforts to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen different communities. To date, over 300,000 Insta Novels have been read. With our focus on the future, we’re now in conversations with Instagram to have the platform optimized for long-form content and literature. While we seem to have found a new home for literature, we know the work here is not done. But at least the future of books isn’t an open and shut case.
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awards
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Gold Design
Social Engagement
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Silver Digital Craft
Overall Aesthetic Design (incl. UI)
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Bronze Mobile
Social Purpose
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Bronze Social & Influencer
Not-for-profit / Charity / Government
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Design
Digital Design
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Digital Craft
Digital Illustration & Image Design
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Media
Use of Social Platforms
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Mobile
Targeted Communication
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Social & Influencer
Social Purpose
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Social & Influencer
Social Behaviour & Cultural Insight
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Social & Influencer
Breakthrough on a Budget
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Titanium
Titanium
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