"Unsealed Books" uses audio storytelling as a solution to keep censored books available to everyone.

"Unsealed Books" is an audio-first solution to resist a controversial Hungarian law censoring physical books. We used audio storytelling as a way around the government requiring that bookstores wrap censored books in plastic – providing access to literature for everyone.

Unsealed Books case 0
The fine was not only an attack on Líra bookstores, but also on the freedom of literature. We needed a solution to stand up for what our brand is about – opening minds.

Krisztián Nyáry

CMO, Líra

To get fined by the government, it was enough to have a gay character. Ancient Greek poetry, The Iliad, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, even Harry Potter, they all fell under the definition of the law. The ruling caused panic in the book retailer industry, as it had a direct negative impact on sales. The first one to get a fine of $36K US for not wrapping the books in plastic foil was the second-largest bookstore chain in the country, Líra. The fine they received caused international outrage. Líra needed a solution to keep censored books available.

In a sign it was escalating enforcement of a law meant to curtail minors’ access to LGBTQ+ content just days before Pride March in July of 2023, Hungary’s government fined a retailer for its display of a book portraying homosexuality.

For audiences to experience these stories, the censored books were read by the most famous LGBTQ+ actors, influencers and musicians in the country, who lent their voices to the audio books, then shared them on social media to their massive followings. We also recorded the text of these books and distributed them as podcasts for audiences to experience the stories.

"Unsealed Books" had an unprecedented result, as the law that censored the books was overturned and Líra didn't have to pay the fine. On social media, the audio books reached a combined 3.9 million people, and major press in the country spread the word about the campaign.

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Awards

2024 Cannes Lions

2024 Cannes Lions

PR — Single-Market Campaign


Bronze Lion

NYF Advertising Awards

NYF Advertising Awards

2024


Gold