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L&PM / Novel Journeys

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our customisable research platform featuring the world’s most innovative, creative and effective ad campaigns and marketing ideas

Book company gives away paperbacks that double-up as subway tickets

On average, Brazilians read just two books a year, according to the country’s biggest pocket books publisher, L&PM. So it found a novel way to get people reading. Ticket Books, created with Africa, São Paulo, is a range of pocket books with built-in RFID cards, allowing them to work as ‘tickets’ for the subway.

The brand set up shop by the turnstiles, giving away 10,000 free copies at subway stations across the city. Ten different titles, each featuring a different subway map-inspired cover design, were available. People could tap a copy on the subway card reader to travel.


The books came charged with ten free subway trips. Once used, they could be recharged with credit via the brand’s website, allowing people to pass on the novels to a friend once they had finished, or for slower readers to keep after the free trips had expired.

Results / More than 2,300 of the books were recharged on the LP&M website.


Contagious Insight /

Finding the time / It’s a smart move to get people reading at a specific time. Rather than simply broadcasting the need to read - in a way that might make people feel lectured - the brand has provided an occasion that’s often just dead time in a person’s day: commuting. What’s more, L&PM is also providing the tools to get started in the shape of its (perfectly sized) pocket books. And the books in question are both beautiful and useful, meaning they are likely to be the kind of freebie that people hold on to or enjoy passing on to friends.

Rewarding good choices / The campaign uses a similar mechanic to another Brazilian metro-based initiative, The Beer Turnstile. Antarctica beer’s responsible drinking project aimed to reduce drink-driving at Carnival by turning beer cans into subway tickets. Both campaigns reward good behaviour, giving Brazilians free transport in the hope of incentivising them to act a certain way, rather than resorting to guilt-inducing tactics.

The power of habit / The importance of forming habits is well-established as a way of changing behaviour. Though the ten-trip long books may not be long enough to form a life-long habit, getting people repeating a behaviour at the same time each day is a clever nudge. Hopefully the books will show people it’s a behaviour that’s worth repeating, getting Brazilians so hooked on the activity that once they’ve finished their first book, they head straight to L&PM’s store to pick up their next read.



This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O. Contagious I/O is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious I/O contact