Words that can help you to do as you’re told

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MEDIA& MARKETING -

DIC­TIO­NAR­IES have to use words to ex­plain other words, and per­haps this is what makes them seem dry and aca­demic.

Of course, there are other ways to help peo­ple un­der­stand what words mean, and it was with this in mind that TBWA/Hunt/Las­caris Cape Town pro­duced an in­ter­est­ing, am­bi­ent cam­paign for Ox­ford English Dic­tio­nar­ies.

A se­ries of three-di­men­sional words was con­ceived and con­structed to ex­plain their mean­ing vis­ually. The se­ries in­cluded the words “climb” (its let­ters built like steps so peo­ple could climb on them), “rest” (made like large cush­ions, ditto), and “de­crepit” (which was de­lib­er­ately aged and de­cayed). Each word ended with a full stop por­tray­ing an Ox­ford English Dic­tio­nary and the phrase “show­ing what words mean since 1756”.

The words were placed in li­braries, book­shops, parks and other pub­lic places. “They at­tracted a lot of at­ten­tion and their in­ter­ac­tive na­ture ap­pealed par­tic­u­larly to kids, which was great, as the in­ten- tion was to demon­strate Ox­ford’s ac­ces­si­bil­ity,” said art di­rec­tor Charl Ed­wards. “If most homes have a dic­tio­nary, it should be the one that un­der­stands and ex­plains words best.”

IN­TER­AC­TIVE DIC­TIO­NARY: Chil­dren play on one of the three-di­men­sional words cre­ated by TBWA/Hunt/Las­caris for Ox­ford English Dic­tio­nar­ies.

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