Campaign counts down to final installment of ’39 Clues’ children’s series

Children’s book publisher Scholastic launched an integrated marketing campaign July 23 leading up to the release of the 10th and final book of the best-selling adventure series The 39 Clues.

The initiative uses e-mail, social media and TV online and in-theater advertising. The “Access Granted” 39-day countdown campaign culminates August 31, when Book 10: Into the Gauntlet hits stores. Scholastic also is hosting a live webcast August 31, when the series’ seven authors will answer video questions from readers.

“It’s a celebration that we’re going to have all seven authors – as we call them, our dream team of authors – coming together to reveal all the secrets of the The 39 Clues, ” said Stacy Lellos, Scholastic’s VP of trade marketing. “It’s both to celebrate the books and build up the excitement.”

Lellos said Scholastic will send e-mail newsletters to children who have opted in through the website The series’ 4,000 Facebook fans also will receive messages about the book’s release and the webcast, and they may post a countdown widget to their pages.

The authors of all the books are participating in a “blog tour,” in which they produce written content or video for partner websites catering to the campaign’s three target audiences – children ages 8 to 12, parents and teachers. (The 39 Clues contains many historical references, making the books appealing to educators.)

The agency Optimistico was responsible for the campaign’s creative elements.

The 39 Clues is about 14-year-old Amy Cahill and her 11-year-old brother, Dan, who travel the world seeking clues about what makes their family the most powerful one in the world. The series debuted in September 2008 and its movie rights have been acquired by DreamWorks Studios.

The series also is known for its collectible cards and online game.

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