There’s Marketing, Then There’s Marketing

Dutch brew master, Heineken, had a successful ad campaign based on setting the standard for excellence. The tagline ran: “Heineken don’t do… but if it did, they would be the best in the world.” It was a stroke of marketing genius that, as these things often do, made its way into pop culture—a tactic indie publisher Story Plant hopes will work for them too as they release a seven-part audio drama as a podcast to promote their books.

Yes, you read that right—a fully scripted, acted, produced drama series that is simply an advert. Except it isn’t just an advert if it infiltrates pop culture; it could end up with a legion of fans in its own right. 

Written by bestselling novelist, Tawni O’Dell, the series follows the writer of a reality TV show that pits six novelists against each other in a literary competition. Rewrites is described by Story Plant president and publisher Lou Aronica as: “The story of a man who believes society is devolving because people don’t read enough.” His (the reality show’s creator) valiant attempts to turn the public onto “the joys of a good book” through the trials and tribulations of the authors on the show, say a lot about every publisher’s efforts to promote their authors’ works.

As Aronica described, the idea came from the publisher trying to, “figure out how to launch books and authors in a distinctive way in a crowded marketplace.” The solution they hit upon is to make a drama about the creative process and the authors themselves. If people understand the authors’ struggles, they will have greater interest in their work. Aronica also points to the creative crossover between drama and literature that has always been significant. For example, Shakespeare’s body of work existed as plays long before it formed the core curriculum for 16-year-olds studying English literature.

If drama series turn viewers into readers, then audio dramas have the potential to turn listeners into readers as well. It stands to reason that those who enjoy the podcast series will seek more work by its author, O’Dell. It also stands to reason that as they search Story Plant’s back catalogue they will discover a world of commercial fiction from unknown and best-selling writers—they may just fall in love with reading in the process. “Heineken don’t do” marketing for publishers; if it did, it would look a lot like Story Plant’s podcast series.

Amnet Systems is leading provider of cost-effective publishing solutions for content development and production, access, and creative services. If you are seeking innovative ideas related to publishing or advertising services, get in touch with Amnet today.

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