St Albans PR company’s cereal campaign success

A ST ALBANS PR consultancy has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award for its work on a ground-breaking literacy programme for supermarket giant Asda.

The Facebox campaign, conceived and launched by Twelve Thirty Eight in St Peter’s Street, sees excerpts from children’s books printed on the back of millions of Asda’s own-brand cereal boxes with the aim of encouraging youngsters aged between eight and 12 to pick up the books to find out what happens next.

Twelve Thirty Eight brokered a partnership between Asda, Puffin Books and the Dahl Foundation, and extracts from four of Roald Dahl’s books, along with Quentin Blake illustrations, have appeared on the backs of more than five million cereal boxes across Asda’s 386 store network, ultimately landing on millions of breakfast tables across the UK.

“We presented the idea to Asda and they loved it,” said managing director Hamish Thompson. “Kids these days are tugged in so many directions that it’s very hard to get them interested in reading. We saw the 15 minutes that they spend over breakfast, or “facebox” time as we called it, as a rare opportunity in the day to get kids interested in reading.”

The company had commissioned research among the target age group looking at their interests, how they spend their breakfast time and their knowledge of literature. The findings revealed that many children believed Rudyard Kipling makes cakes and that Phileas Fogg makes crisps or is a weather forecaster.

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The campaign was covered in national print, broadcast and online media including the Daily Mail, The Sun and BBC Radio 5 Live, and has triggered a jump in the sale of books.

Twelve Thirty Eight have now been shortlisted for an award for outstanding corporate and business communication from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), with the winner set to be announced in November.

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