Everyday objects pose a daunting challenge for illiterate adults in Pearson's latest 'Project Literacy' campaign

U.K. creative guru Mark Denton worked with FCB Inferno on photography project

Published On
Apr 18, 2018

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Pearson's Project Literacy, a former Cannes Grand Prix winner for its work in highlighting adult illiteracy, is back with a new campaign that shows how adults who struggle to read and write can be daunted by innocent-seeming everyday objects.

This time, agency FCB Inferno worked with well-known U.K. creative, photographer and director Mark Denton on the campaign. Denton (who was a partner in the agency Simons Palmer Denton Clemmow and Johnson during the '90s) created a series of photographs showing everyday items such as detergent bottles, greetings cards and board games. On closer inspection, however, the viewer will realize that these are pack shots with a twist. The message on each object shows how challenging they can be for people who cannot read: for example, an envelope for a bill carries the caption "I can't read how much I owe" and a board game is emblazoned with the message "My son always wants to play with me but I can't read the instructions."

The "stories" in the photos are all real, told to the organization by adults who have learned to read. One image of a medicine bottle, for example, directly reflects the story told by Wanda, a newly literate adult from Philadelphia, who movingly described the anxiety she felt each time she had to give her children medicine when they were sick because she could not read the instructions on the packaging.

The images will be used in print ads and across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Apr 18, 2018
FCB Inferno-London
Chief Creative Officer:
Owen Lee
Senior Art Director:
Jessica Giles
Senior Copywriter:
Austin Hamilton
Director, Strategy:
Julie Lagan
Senior Producer:
Bridie Scriven
Business Director:
Helena Georghiou
Senior Account Manager:
Charlie Griffith
Emma King
Production Company:
Coy! Communications
Joe Giacomet

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