By Anna Sekula Posted April 15, 2011, 12:04 PM EDT
Armed with magnifying glasses, 20 second graders from Manhattan Country School spent their Wednesday morning solving riddles and searching a 12-foot-tall cake in Times Square for hidden objects. The lively event held by Scholastic was part of the 20th anniversary campaign for its I Spy brand, interpreting the colorful photographs and rhyming clues in the children's book series by Jean Marzollo with a physical scavenger hunt for the under-10 set.
”I Spy has always been about the unique approach to seek and find through its brilliant interaction of riddles and photographs—so we knew any event had to incorporate those elements in an engaging and entertaining way,” said Daisy Kline, Scholastic Media's vice president of marketing and brand management, who worked closely with the Michael Alan Group to produce the stunt.
Along those lines, the organizers built a larger-than-life cake-shaped structure and embellished its exterior with images from the book. Hidden in the design were pictures of specific objects, 20 items Scholastic challenged the schoolkids to identify and find based on clues read by event M.C. Kevin Duda. To motivate the young participants, the game was timed, providing only 10 minutes for the scavenger hunt, and for each object found Scholastic offered to donate 25 books to the school library.
Eagerly using branded plastic magnifying glasses to locate the riddle answers, the children raced around the 15-foot-wide cake accompanied by staffers and cheered on by the assembled crowd. The class managed to find all 20 objects before the clock ran out, resulting in a reward of 500 books for their school. As an additional prize, Scholastic presented them each with a copy of I Spy Spectacular, the anniversary edition of the book.