Cannes Lions

Dacia Alternative Manual

PUBLICIS ROMANIA, Bucharest / DACIA / 2016

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Yet, Dacia mass-publishes a book that, unfortunately, almost nobody ever reads. The car owner’s manual, which comes with every vehicle sold.

To change this once and for all, we came up with the “Alternative Manual”. The first owner’s manual that makes useful information easy and fun to read.

We invited a team of writers and designers to reinvent the standard manual in belletristic style, as a mix of poetry, prose and illustrations.

The newly created manual still covers all essential chapters like keys, safety belts and children security, but makes them a captivating read. By presenting them in different genres, from science fiction to romance and poetry, all illustrated accordingly.

Dacia decided to offer the manual as standard in their Romanian showroom network.

The idea shows how print can change its presentation to get more attention to the content. A strategy that manufacturers from other industries can also apply, too.


We casted a team of Romanian fiction writers and illustrators, both famous and aspiring talents. Each had to start from the standard chapter and reinterpret it according to the genre of choice, while keeping the informative character of the content.

The first edition of the “Alternative Manual” was launched by Radu Paraschivescu, a top Romanian critic, during the busiest day of the Gaudeamus book fair. The manual was offered as a brand promotional item during the Gaudeamus festival.

Due to the manual becoming the highlight of the fair and getting great coverage by national and international press, Dacia decided to print a second edition edition, to be available in their national showroom network, alongside the standard owner’s manual.

20k manuals were printed for the first edition, and 40k are in the works for the second one, up to now.


The idea’s echo surpassed the reach of the Gaudeamus book fair visitors. After becoming the highlight of the fair, it also got the attention of important international and national media outlets. Earning free media worth 357k Euro, in national and international press.

The project triggered a very interesting suggestion in the media, that other manufacturers should apply an alternative treatment to their informational literature, to make it more readable and enjoyable.

Dacia customers enjoyed a product which is both getting to know more about their car, and immerses them in fictional crafted stories.

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