Indie publisher Knights Of is celebrating after its festive inclusive books ad campaign hit 100,000 views.
The Christmas advert, featuring students from a Croydon primary school, has also shared by high-profile trade figures, bookshops and bestselling authors including David Nicholls, Marina Hyde, Cressida Cowell, Robin Stevens and Robert Webb.
Faced with selling books in a crowded seasonal market and highlighting the essential need for representation in children’s fiction, Knights Of marketing director Daphne Tonge and freelance Ella Chapman proposed a zero-budget Christmas advert asking students what it means to be reflected in their books. Students answered the question direct to camera – with one student, Hanszeth replying “No. People in books have better clothes than me. Better skin than me.”
The advert immediately picked up traction online and has been shared by thousands with many sending replies of encouragement to the students in the video.
Speaking on Twitter, journalist Marina Hyde shared the ad and said: “’They have better skin than me’—his is such a chasteningly, horribly clear statement. A lot of things may get worse next year—let's try and make this thing better.”
David Stevens, who co-founded the inclusive publisher in 2017 with Aimée Felone, said: “Seeing a reader speak direct to you and tell you they don’t see themselves in the books they’re holding is impossible to ignore. The affect has been phenomenal with weekly sales of some titles doubling since the ad went live.”