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2023 One Show - Experiential & Immersive

The Unburnable Book

Agency Rethink + Penguin Random House / Toronto

Client Penguin Random House

Category

Physical Products

Annual ID

OS23_EX019S

About the Work

According to a recent PEN America report, book banning in U.S. schools and libraries has reached unprecedented levels, with some elected officials even suggesting burning books deemed “inappropriate.” As one of the world’s largest publishing houses and the publisher of one of the most banned books of all time — Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale — Penguin Random House needed to make a strong statement. So Penguin created The Unburnable Book: a one-of-a-kind edition of The Handmaid’s Tale made entirely from fireproof materials and designed to be impossible to burn. The single, special edition of The Handmaid’s Tale was intentionally designed to look and feel exactly like the original, but to be fireproof up to 2600 degrees fahrenheit. It was printed on Cinefoil pages using heat-resistant inks, bound with nickel copper wire, and hand sewn with stainless steel. All materials were thoroughly tested at a range of temperatures and using a variety of flame sources to ensure the book would not burn. Then, it was tested by 82-year old author Margaret Atwood – with a flamethrower – in a video that was shared everywhere from major news outlets like The Washington Post to Late Night with Seth Meyers. The book itself launched at the PEN America Gala in Manhattan and was auctioned off at Sotheby’s NY, selling for a whopping $130,000 with all proceeds going to support PEN America, an organization that fights censorship and promotes freedom of literary expression. Most importantly, the campaign ignited a global conversation about censorship and was covered around the world – garnering more than 12 billion impressions and over $35 million in earned media.

2023 Awards

Total Points: 21

Credits

Agency

Rethink

Client

Jared Bland

Client / Brand

Penguin Random House / Toronto

Production Company

Asymetric / Toronto

Music / Sound Production Company

Oso Audio / Toronto

Post Production Company

Darling VFX / Toronto
Saints Editorial / Toronto

Art Director

Caroline Friesen

Copywriter

Robbie Percy

Chief Creative Officer

Aaron Starkman

Creative Director

Caroline Friesen
Robbie Percy

Director

Brooks Reynolds

Director of Photography

Kiel Milligan

Executive Creative Director

Mike Dubrick

Strategist

Sean McDonald

Developer

Steve Lam

Engineer

Daenen Bramberger
Harry Knazan

Printing

Club Ink / Toronto

Broadcast Producer

Alex Butt

Digital Designer

Dustin Gamble

Digital Producer

Kyle Hicks

Director of Broadcast Production

Steph Walker-Wells

Director of Client Services

Marie Lunny

Director of Digital Content

Todd Harrison

Director of Print Production

Aj Merrick

Editorial Lead

Lianne George

Grading

Kassi Bellamy

Graphic Design

The Gas Company Inc. / Toronto

LINE PRODUCER

Iseault McNamara

On-line

Alexa Salsberg

On-Line Assistant

Russell Hanson

Print producer

Agnes Gilchrist

Printing & Fabrication

Doug Laxdal
Jeremy Martin

Printing & Props

Joe Scout

Pyrotechnics & VFX

Gustavo Franco

Studio Artist

Todd Bennett

Studio Director

Brad Kumar

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