Yesterday, I caught the ad the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism is putting out on ASTRO to support the Bangsa Membaca, Bangsa Berjaya reading campagn. It showed lots of people ... reading in public places, and looking really happy about it: a sort of fantasy piece in the style of most information ads produced by government departments. (I'd have hired Yasmin Ahmad to tug at heartstrings and do for books what she did for Petronas, or the guys who put together pop videos for MTV to make reading irresitibly "cool" and trendy to the younger generation. But I guess there wasn't the budget.)
Anway, the ad shows ordinary Malaysians reading at home, in cafes, on the LRT ... and then on escalators in shopping complexes ... and then while walking down the street!
As a certifiable bookaholic, I have been known to try to wring out every second of reading time I can from the day, and read in all kinds of circumstances. (Hey, funny they didn't show anyone reading on the loo! Most of us apparently do enjoy a read there.)
But I learned that it isn't such a good idea to have your nose stuck in a book when you walk down the street, the first time I painfully wrapped myself round a lampost.
And Malaysia has these open monsoon drains everywhere which would swallow a committed reader in a nanosecond!
Perhaps there should be a health warning on the ad?
Anyway. Let's imagine that we have been given free reign and an unlimited budget to design a reading ad for ASTRO, what would it be like? Pitch your ideas in the comments, and if any of you work in the advertising industry, I'll let you be the judges. Prize? Just the warm fuzzies of the heart from knowing that you will have served your nation.