Walker Books has partnered with restaurant chain Ask Italian and Universal Brand Development, on behalf of Dreamworks, to celebrate 30 years of Where’s Wally?.
Around 60,000 Where’s Wally? The Totally Tasty Challenge activity booklets, created by Walker, will encourage families to search for Wally and solve pizza-themed puzzles.
The packs will be distributed across 113 of the restaurants and include a competition featuring an Italian holiday prize as well as a ‘half price’ offer on Where’s Wally? books at certain W H Smith stores.
The celebration of Martin Handford’s bespectacled creation will also be promoted on boards outside more than 100 ASK Italian restaurants with a branded table inside. The campaign has been created by specialist partnership marketing agency, mostra.
The anniversary will be supported online and via the partners’ digital media channels, reaching more than 1.5m consumers, and will also be communicated via the book retailer environment with over 12,000 co-branded bookmarks being distributed via 124 W H Smith stores.
Where’s Wally? The Fantastic Journey was World Book Day’s third biggest seller after Blob (HarperCollins) and Peppa Loves World Book Day (Ladybird), shifting 120,312 copies. As part of the celebration held on 1st March, around 22,500 schools were given a Where’s Wally? Search pack, which included double-sided poster with copy & cut-out Wally, “search and find” list and photo competition as well as a guide to costume making.
Stripy-themed bunting and posters were sent to bookshops across the country and as part of Independent Booksellers Week which ran 24th June to 1st July, there was a month-long hunt for the elusive character, hosted by local bookshops with participation from 10 business establishments in their local town.
Literacy charity, the Reading Agency, has also supported Wally’s 30th anniversary with celebrations in more than 200 libraries and there is activity planned for a range of festivals.
At the Edinburgh International Book Festival next month there will be a Where’s Wally-themed schools gala day involving fancy dress, POS and events packs as well as competitions and costumes planned at the Wimbledon Book Festival (from 5th to 15th October) and the Cheltenham Lit Fest which runs 7th to 16th October.
Media-shy Handford was born in Hampstead, London, in 1956 and has revealed each Wally picture takes him eight weeks to draw. He sold the global rights to the brand in 2007 to the Entertainment Rights group, which reportedly netted him £2.5m. The group fell into administration in 2009 and after various changes, was acquired by DreamWorks Animation in 2012.
The first Where's Wally book was published by Walker on 18th September 1987. The series is published in the US as Where’s Waldo?
According to Nielsen BookScan, the Where’s Wally series has sold 3.29 million copies for £16.4m, with the 2007 edition of Where's Wally the biggest seller at 305,425 copies.
The 30th anniversary edition (published in February) showed a 115% boost year on year compared to the 2007 edition, according to Nielsen BookScan and in Year to Date sales, the 30th anniversary title is up 85% on last year’s classic edition.
Where’s Wally? Destination: Everywhere! will be published by Walker in October.