Kiddy creative

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GET READY FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF ADVERTISING CREATIVES. Frustrated by the lack of backyard games while observing her children, Marlene Byrne, founder and president of Niles, Ill.-based Celtic Marketing, launched the Project Play children's book series last fall. “Some of the most creative problem-solvers I've worked with credit their ability to think outside the box to childhood experiences,” she said. “Without the ability to generate ideas and feel a sense to do so, the advertising industry will not thrive.” Titles such as “Treasure Hunt,” “Follow the Leader” and “Just a Baseball Game” teach children to enjoy the freedom of outdoor playtime while enhancing creative development. “Children today seem caught up in electronic models of play and after-school activities,” Byrne said. “Project Play [encourages] children to invent their own games and negotiate their own sets of rules.” Each hardcover highlights a different backyard game, featuring vivid illustrations, rhyming text and fictional characters based on Byrne's Chicago hometown neighborhood of Edgebrook. The Web site ( also features childhood obesity statistics, activity trends and advice for parents on how to structure activities. A fourth title, “Kick the Can,” is planned for release later this year.
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