Penguin kids' classic audiobook ads

Malaysia's Y&R agency created these fantastic "ear worm" ads for a line of Penguin kids' classic audiobooks. I love the combination of kids' book illustration with anatomical detail and a Penguin-Classic-esque layout and colour scheme. That said, I'd avoid the digital download versions of these audiobooks like infectious material, as they appear to be poisoned with some species of DRM requiring you to use "Ingram Audio Manager," a bit of proprietary crashware. I'll stick with buying and ripping the CDs.

Penguin Books: The Wizard Of Oz

Penguin Books: The Jungle Book

Penguin Books: The Pied Piper Of Hamelin

(via Street Anatomy)


  1. Great scott! When I first saw the picture I didn’t think that was an EAR they were crawling into. haha

  2. I swear, doc. It feels like I have Shere Khan in my auditory canal and an elephant is trying to squeeze its way in.

  3. You don’t want to know the mental picture I had until I realized that it was an ear that they were crawling into.

    1. Yep, right there with you, but I was really having a problem with the left side of the illustration and was forced to read the text. Oooooooooohhh.

      Although the word ‘kid’s’ should have been a big clue. I live in such an adult world. I’m not claiming to be an adult, just the context around me.

    2. Yes well. You’re *not* the only one…
      Large scale medical illustrations of Human intercourse are hardly the most obvious choice for children’s books.
      – And once you’ve had that mental picture. It stays.
      Sorry about that…

  4. I had (I suspect) exactly the same mental image. Clearly the ad agency is staffed entirely with pure-minded individuals.

  5. Maybe the tag line for the covers should be…”What’s in your penis?”… Dorothy is definitely NOT in Kansas anymore…and really?!, the Pied Piper leading children down the length?…

  6. they appear to be poisoned with some species of DRM requiring you to use “Ingram Audio Manager,” a bit of proprietary crashware

    Proprietary? Yes.
    DRM? Yeah.


    I did a bit of contract work with Ingram — unrelated to the Media Manager — about a year ago that involved me working with the team that built this.

    These guys are professionals who don’t often have the luxury of choosing projects, because they’re in Tennessee, which is not exactly silicon valley.

    Look, Cory, I get what you’re saying and I wouldn’t use this app either. But by calling it “crashware” you’re disrespecting the work and effort of one of the finest development and QA teams I’ve ever worked with.

    1. I just tried to run it under WINE and bang, crashola. I calls ’em as I sees ’em.

  7. It’s obviously an ear and an ear canal. If the illustration looks like an accurate anatomical drawing of your penis, you should:

    1) Check to make sure you’re not in a Cronenberg movie.

    2) See a doctor immediately.

    1. It doesn’t look like a penis, but it does bear some resemblance to a cross-section of an anatomical structure that might accommodate a penis, if you get our drift. Until my eye made it to the right side of the diagram I thought those tangly bits on the left were poorly drawn fallopian tubes.

      If ear canals were really that wide we’d likely have a whole new genre of pornography and another leading cause of hearing loss.

  8. With respect Cory, the fault may lie with WINE, rather than the DRM system. I suspect that the DRM system was tested to run on a ‘real copy’ of Windows, rather than what is essentially an emulator (even a good one).


    1. The program is doing something distasteful, unnatural (preventing copies in a digital environment) and contrary to the best interests of users. It crashes in WINE, which is a good, solid and respected implementation of standard Windows interfaces, which suggests the devs either did a bad job or cheated a bit (i.e. used hackey workarounds instead of standard interfaces).

      In the best case, this software hurts the user. In any other case, it hurts the user more, quite possibly denying them access to media they purchased legitimately.

      I think crashware is a legitimate label.

  9. I just tried to run it under WINE and bang, crashola. I calls ’em as I sees ’em.

    Or, in this case, perhaps you called it before you saw it?

    OK, it crashes on a platform that it wasn’t designed to run on. WINE users probably represent such a small segment of the user base that it simply wasn’t practical or cost-effective to develop for it.

    Still, the “crashware” comment stings, coming from you, because you’ve worked in those kinds of organizations. I know you weren’t being deliberately disrespectful. These guys (and gals) are talented and smart (and probably fans of your books).

    1. I think it’s more accurate to say, “This is DRM software that is designed to detect when it’s running in environments that give users more control that rightsholders have been promised, and fail to perform when that happens.” That is to say, crashware.

      1. “This is DRM software that is designed to detect when it’s running in environments that give users more control that rightsholders have been promised, and fail to perform when that happens.” That is to say, crashware.

        Call it shackleware or lockware or jailware if you like. If it is running as designed, then it is not crashware.

        more control that rightsholders have been promised

        From the support page:

        The copyright holders decide whether they will allow their audiobook to be:

        • freely distributed (meaning anyone can copy it and listen to it) or
        • encrypted for only one person to listen to (sometimes referred to as Digital Rights Management or DRM)

          Ingram’s digital audiobooks are sold for use by one consumer on a variety of devices. Titles can be downloaded multiple times, and transferred to multiple devices owned by the consumer.

          In some cases, the publisher has DRM-free content. In this case, the audiobook can be converted into MP3 files for use on any device.”

          [Emphasis mine.]

          WINE: “Wine is Not an Emulator”

          It’s also not Windows XP or MacOS, which are the minimum requirements for running the software.

  10. Shere Khan, wilt thou drink again?
    With the liquor and drugs,
    And the flesh machine.
    I am alone on the grazing-grounds.
    Gray Brother, where’d you get
    That lotion? Come to me, for
    There’s big game afoot!
    Bring up the buffaloes,
    Yeah the blue-skinned bulls.
    Kaa likes hypnotizing chickens.
    Well I am just a jungle guy;
    Of course I’ve had it in the ear before.
    ‘Cause of a lust for life.
    ‘Cause of a lust for life.

  11. Now I’m the king of the swingers
    Oh, the jungle VIP
    I’ve reached the top and had to stop
    And that’s what botherin’ me
    I wanna be a man, mancub
    And stroll right into town
    And be just like the other men
    I’m tired of monkeyin’ around!

    Oh, oobee doo
    I wanna be like you
    I wanna walk like you
    Talk like you, too
    You’ll see it’s true
    An ape like me
    Can learn to be human too

    Gee, cousin Louie
    You’re doin’ real good

    Now here’s your part of the deal, cuz
    Lay the secret on me of man’s red fire

    But I don’t know how to make fire

    Now don’t try to kid me, mancub
    I made a deal with you
    What I desire is man’s red fire
    To make my dream come true
    Give me the secret, mancub
    Clue me what to do
    Give me the power of man’s red flower
    So I can be like you

    I wanna be like you
    I wanna talk like you
    Walk like you, too
    You’ll see it’s true
    Someone like me
    Can learn to be
    Like someone like me
    Can learn to be
    Like someone like you
    Can learn to be
    Like someone like me!

  12. Most of those animals are fine in an aural canal, but you don’t need the pachyderm. It’s ear-elephant.

    Thank you.

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