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Qantas to Flyers: Ditch Your Kindles, Read Our Custom Book Collection

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Aussie airline Qantas is asking consumers to ditch their Kindles and curl up with a good book -- one that's been specially curated by the airline so that flyers will manage to finish just as their plane touches down. Droga5 Sydney, which won the client's business last year, teamed with publishing house Hachette to create a push geared toward Qantas' most traveled passengers. It's called "Stories for Every Journey," a collection of bespoke books, each of which promises to last only for the duration of one of the airline's routes.

Stephanie Tully, CMO Qantas Loyalty, said the tactile experience and custom-created books are meant to reflect the sophistication of the brand. It's a trait that's Qantas is focusing on more than ever thanks to its recent partnership with luxury airline Emirates, which makes Dubai a key travel hub and opens the airline up to 65 destinations. The effort is aimed at the brand's high-frequency travelers but is "just one of many conversations we're developing with our members, from Bronze to Platinum One," she said.

"It occurred to us that, in this world of Kindles and iPads, the last bastion of the humble, paperback novel is actually at 40,000 feet," said Droga5 Sydney Creative Chairman David Nobay. "Just take a look at the bulging shelves at any airport bookstore. But, for all its relative clumsiness, there's an unmistakably reassuring charm about thumbing through a good book as you recline amongst the clouds."

Each book's cover was designed by award-winning art director/designer Paul Belford, who was behind memorable campaigns for The Economist, Sony Playstation and Waterstones. What's more, every book has a customized with a special foreward from Qantas and is packaged with a personal note from Qantas Frequent Flyer CEO Lesley Grant.

The agency worked with Hachette to choose stories and books from its collection with themes especially suited to Qantas Platinum Flyers, who skew male. Based on research, that means non-fiction, thrillers and crime-based short stories are the most popular choices.

So how did Droga5 managed to time the actual books to match the length of the flights?

"According to our literary friends at Hachette, the average reader consumes between 200 and 300 words per minute, which equates to about a page per minute," said Mr. Nobay. That idea was applied more specifically to the shorter novels and flights, but "for the longer flights, we accommodated some napping time and meals," Mr. Nobay said. "After a few hours with a fine Qantas in-flight meal with Australian Shiraz, most people need a break from reading."

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