Dare, Penguin Canada Unveil Digital Companion to Best-Selling Novel

By Erik Oster 

Dare Toronto teamed up with Penguin Books Canada to create a digital companion to Khaled Hosseini’s best selling novel And the Mountains Echoed, a project almost a year in the making.

Entitled “The Echo Project,” the site is a “a digital exploration of each of the 402 pages of the novel.” It’s an interesting proposition, and one that attracted many collaborators, including “contributions from Khaled Hosseini himself, magazine editors, TV & Radio personalities, producers, authors, painters and illustrators” — each of whom chose a page of the novel and either offered up ideas of what that page should look like on The Echo Project or told the team at Dare how the page made them feel and left it up to them to develop further. The pages represented on The Echo Project include a “unique assortment of interactive puzzles, motion graphics, videos, illustrations, audio and video that allow the reader to explore themes that are complimentary to the story, like references to history and culture.”


“We hoped it would evolve and take on a life of its own. And it has,” said Paul Little, Dare’s executive creative director. “The concept was a framework to allow any content that helped embellish, explain or express. And because of the range of content, it needed it to be flexible enough to allow for spontaneity and fan contribution.”

Dare Toronto and Penguin believe that The Echo Project “is a sign of how book publishers will evolve their launch strategies to offer different reading experiences for avid and casual book readers.” As André Louis, director of planning at Dare explains, “Avid book readers got to co-create and live a more immersive book experience; casual readers get the ‘DVD-extras’ that go along with the paperback. We’re leveraging avid Hosseini fans’ word of mouth to influence those who buy a few books a year in an attempt to sell more to casual readers.”

Dare and Penguin are no strangers to exploring the intersection of books and digital, having “created the MyFry app which allowed users to read British writer and actor Stephen Fry’s second autobiography in a non-linear, theme-based fashion via mobile” back in 2011. The Echo Project will be unveiled in its entirety and promoted in the paperback edition of And the Mountains Echoed scheduled for publication this June. For an idea of what to expect from The Echo Project, check out the video above, or head on over to the site for a more complete experience. Credits after the jump. Credits:

The Echo Project
url: http://www.echoproject.ca

Creative Agency: Dare Toronto
Executive Creative Director: Paul Little
Associate Creative Director: Chris Obergfell
Art Director: Craig Ferguson
Writer: Tal Wagman
Illustrator: Melissa Bashura
Illustrator: Leah Vlemmiks
VP & Director of Planning: Andre Louis
VP Social & Innovation: Ian Barr
Account Supervisor: Katie Rakoczy

Client: Penguin Canada
Director of Publicity: Ashley Audrain
Marketing Director: Charidy Johnston
VP, Marketing & Publicity: Beth Lockley