Thursday, November 13, 2014

ad space too expensive? publish your own mag

And speaking of clients getting into the publishing business, here's a new call for a serious Editor in Chief of upcoming online mag about Sleep, to be put out by (duh) a mattress company. Kudos to awake marketing mind behind this.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

author lands book deal with Y&R

Can't get a deal for that novel manuscript? Try ad agencies. Young & Rubicam commissioned Booker award-nominated novelist William Boyd to tell any story he wanted as long as it featured a Land Rover vehicle. Not surprisingly, the commission prompted Boyd to "realize how prominently Land Rover has featured in my life" and write THE VANISHING GAME, a novella published by Land Rover in print and e-version and advertised in display ads and paid posts on Vox, Quartz and The story can also be accessed on Tumblr where it's a multi-sensory experience including images, video, animation, sound, music and narration.

The novel-commissioned-by-client isn't unprecedented. In 2001, Bulgari hired novelist Fay Weldon to write any story she wanted, as long as it mentioned the name of the jeweler 12 times. Perhaps because she was a former copywriter (Ogilvy), Weldon exceeded that count, including 34 mentions. That product placement deal, a first in publishing, created quite a kerfuffle, as reported in in the New York Times and Salon. It's not known whether the commission helped Bulgari sell jewelry, but to Weldon's credit, the book still isn't out of print.

Thanks to Shareen Pathak of Digiday for letting us know

Monday, November 10, 2014

going to China? Don't leave home without this

I'm traveling in Taiwan for a couple of weeks and would be lost in translation without an app created by the good folks at Pleco. It lets me hold up the phone to Chinese characters on signs, on menus, on doors and suddenly what is inscrutable becomes clear. The app is multifunctioned and also features a handy live dictionary. Type in what you're trying to say and it appears in Chinese, so you can simply hold up your phone and be understood. I found this essential to renting a car which was accomplished only because the clerk and I could communicate by handing our iPhones to each other. Pleco downloadable from App store. Nope, this isn't a paid post. Just a hat tip from a grateful user in transit.