Kobo Brings Books to Life in Colour

//  04.18.24

Kobo Brings Books to Life with its First-ever Colour eReaders
Developed by The Garden, the global campaign brings much-loved books to life in colour

Rakuten Kobo introduces the first-ever colour eReaders to booklovers with the new Kobo Libra Colour and Kobo Clara Colour, turning the page on the exclusively black and white digital reading experience Kobo fans already know and love.

The launch is being supported by a global campaign developed by Toronto agency The Garden. It’s built around a 30-second animated spot depicting interesting colour iconography from famous books like “The Colour Purple,” “The Great Gatsby” and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” in a swirling, surreal, animated landscape.

After previously developing Canada-only campaigns for Kobo, this is The Garden’s first global initiative for the brand. As such, it was specifically designed to appeal to readers around the world.

It focuses on the key aspects of famous literary creations, from the hookah-smoking blue caterpillar in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” to the yellow brick road and Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz, to the red ‘A’ in “The Scarlet Letter.”

The creative approach is built around the insight that a great book brings colour into our lives and our imaginations. The goal was to feature books that are universally known and provide visual cues that would resonate with book lovers around the world, said Shane Ogilvie, co-founder and chief creative officer at The Garden.

“We wanted to be able to connect with readers regardless of who they are or where they’re from. Great literature transcends culture and connects us all.” said Ogilvie.

“For the first time ever, our eyes can peer, at a world of colour, that is finally here,” says the closing voiceover over black-and-white images of beloved book covers that turn to colour as they appear on the new Kobo colour eReaders.

The campaign video, which features animation and music by the Portuguese studio AIM Creative Studios, is being featured in Canadian, American, Australian and UK markets. It’s supported by a robust social and digital campaign, which showcases a breadth of genres, authors, and titles, both old and new.

It cleverly uses colour within the titles to announce the launch of the Kobo Colour eReaders, like “City in Orange. Now in Orange” and “The Color Purple. Now in Purple.” Additional online ads will appear in Canada, United States, Australia, the UK, Spain, France, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, and Portugal. Media for the campaign was handled by Cairns Oneil.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing both the Kobo Clara Colour and Kobo Libra Colour to market,” said Tracy Nesdoly, Vice President, Communications at Rakuten Kobo. “This marks our first foray into the world of colour and we’re excited to give our readers the opportunity to take their reading experience to a whole new level. We think this campaign is the perfect way to kick that off.”

The Kobo Libra Colour and Kobo Clara Colour are available for pre-order now and for purchase beginning April 30.


Campaign Title: Kobo Colour eReaders
Spot Title: Bring Books to Life

Brand: Rakuten Kobo
Chief Marketing Officer: Marianne Hamilton
Vice President, Communications: Tracy Nesdoly
Senior Manager, Brand & Product Marketing: Christine Ampagoumian

Agency: The Garden
Chief Creative Officer: Shane Ogilvie
Chief Strategy Officer: Shari Walczak
Executive Creative Director: Lindsay Eady
Copywriters: Lindsay Eady, Shane Ogilvie
Art Director: Mriga Suchdeva
Strategy Director: Jenn Kittmer
Business Lead: Kendell Edney
Project Lead: Julia Zammit
Executive Producer: Melanie Lambertsen

Animation: AIM Creative Studios
Music: AIM Creative Studios

Audio: Berkeley, Jared Kuemper
VO Talent: Mike Regan

Media Agency: Cairns Oneil
Managing Director: Tim Hughes
Communications Director: Jennifer Blenkhorn
Communications Manager: Anam Tariq
Communications Coordinator: Kaitlin Irving