Sunday 3 June 2012

155. Mosquito Advertising Book 3: The Crunch Campaign by Kate Hunter

Mosquito Advertising Book 3: The Crunch Campaign by Kate Hunter
Published May 2012 UQP

From the publisher:

Mosquito Advertising is home from New York when the shocking news breaks: the government is banning advertising for soft drinks. All the work they've done to save Parfizz has been for nothing! Katie is furious. Bans don't work, everyone knows that and while the other soft drink companies weasel their way around the new rules, Mosquito Advertising plots to rewrite them. Katie reckons the key is to make ads for fruit as cool as ads for fizzy drinks. It's a great idea - all they have to do is convince the Prime Minister. But great ideas aren't always enough, especially when you're also dealing with paying clients, a missing kid, moody friends, shadowy enemies and a family set to triple in size. In this new adventure, the world's first kid-run advertising agency discovers that sometimes the most important thing to sell isn't a thing, it's an idea.

In this new adventure, Katie and her friends take on the challenge of making fresh fruit as appealing as fast food.  It's never been done, but then, there's never been a company like Mosquito Advertising.

Katie Crisp and her friends are back for what is maybe their biggest challenge yet.  After all of the work they did to save the Parfitt's soft drink company (Book 1 The Parfizz Pitch), it looks like the business will have to be sold anyway.  The government, in it's attempt to battle childhood obesity has declared a ban on advertising soft drinks, and a small company like Parfitt's just can't survive without advertising.

Katie and the team believe that bans don't work, but knowing what doesn't work isn't enough, they need to figure out what will work.  When Katie gets a chance to meet with the Prime Minister, she knows that she will only have one chance to pitch the perfect idea.  The idea Katie comes up with is the Lettuce Levy, an ingenious way of using money from junk food advertising to create better ads for health options such as fruit/veg etc.

Having the idea is only half the battle.  When you are 13 years old, you still have to deal with school, parents, babysitting duties, curfews, and in Katie's case the announcement of her Mother's engagement, which means her family will triple in size overnight!  They also have to deal with the big advertising agencies who work for the fast food companies, who really don;t like the fact that an agency run by children is doing so well.

I really love this series, because it's all about 'possibilities'.  When I saw Oliver Jeffers a few weeks ago, he mentioned that one of the things he tries to do in his picture books is make whatever the character is trying to achieve, possible (at least in theory).  For example, in his book Lost and Found the boy rows to the South Pole, his theory is this, if a child can row, whose to say they can't row to the South Pole, it's unlikely, but not beyond the realms of possibility.  That is how I feel about these books.  It's unlikely that a group of 13 year olds will start an advertising agency that becomes successful and has paying clients, but it is within the realms of possibility.  The books are fun, with engaging plots.  There is also a lot of scope to use these books in the classroom, as they bring up a lot of questions about advertising, such as the obvious one, what makes people buy things?

Kate Hunter has also developed a website for the Mosquito Advertising Company, where you can meet the characters, see the ad they created for Parfizz (Book 1) and there's even a section where kids can send in their own ideas for ads and there are tips on how to get started.

Click link to go to:

Who will like this book: Boys and Girls age 10+
Read it if you like: other books in the Mosquito Advertising Series

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