Sept-Dec 2012 campaign winners include a disaster-prone celebrity, a wimpy kid and Venetian foodies

POSTED ON: 26/02/13 TAGS: Adult fiction Awards Children's fiction Cookery book Guerrilla marketing

by Jon Slack

At a packed BMS Meeting held last week (Feb 21st) in Bloomsbury’s beautiful new offices in Bedford Square, the winners of the Best Marketing Campaign Awards for September-December 2012 were announced.  The winners in the three categories – Adults, Children’s and Shoestring – were:

Adult winner:

Is It Just Me?, by Miranda Hart
Marketer: Vickie Boff, Hodder

Hodder used the author to the best advantage, despite restricted access. They initiated an innovative Twitter campaign crowd-sourcing the general public’s own embarrassing stories in response to the book and released these as a free ebook, No, It’s Us Too a month ahead of publication, with embedded links to pre-order Is It Just Me? Nearly 90k were downloaded. They also released weekly themed videos through and Twitter;  the Christmas video was viewed over 48k times.  This was clearly the Christmas No. 1 celebrity book – and a genuine bestseller.

Children’s winner

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Third Wheel, by Jeff Kinney
Marketers:  Vanessa Godden and Julia Teece, Puffin

Puffin has certainly not rested on their laurels – this campaign was another notch up from the last one (which also won a BMS Award).  The team pre-tested the story line to see how readers responded; the campaign built on these responses and resulted in nearly 80k views of the trailer, 28k new fans recruited and a 23% growth in sales.


Shoestring campaign winner:

POLPO: A Venetian Cookbook (of sorts)
Marketer: Alice Shortland, Bloomsbury

This book benefited from the genuine engagement of Waterstones booksellers, resulting in their voting it the Waterstones Book of the Year 2012; strong targeting of a foodie audience which managed to turn restaurant customers into book buyers; great competitions for the potential audience, and amazing sales and ROI.



Four campaigns were also highly commended:


A Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling

  • Marketers: Charlie King, Helen Gibbs and the Marketing team at Little, Brown Book Group

The team delivered a hugely effective campaign within very tight guidelines set by the author and the need for complete confidentiality.  They provided genuine support across the whole range of retailers, particularly independents, as well as the library sector.  The result was a truly global campaign, with strong collaboration round the world, resulting in strong branding, awareness – and sales.

Big Questions for Little People by Gemma Elwin Harris                                               

  • Marketers: Susan Holmes & Silvia Novak, Faber & Faber

A brilliantly integrated campaign, including partnerships with Mumsnet and Heart FM plus NSPCC.  Great Twitter campaign using an infographic as a highly visual and arresting image resulted in really impressive sales on a tight budget.


Dork Diaries: Dear Dork by Rachel Renne Russell

  • Marketer: Kat McKenna, Simon & Schuster

The judges were particularly impressed with the range of partnership eg win a day as a journalist at Pop Girl magazine competition which worked hard – and successfully – to establish this new series in the mind of the target audience.


Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division by Peter Hook

  • Marketers:  Dawn Burnett & Owen Davies, Simon & Schuster

This was a very targeted promotion with lots of limited editions and lots of collectibles for the diehard fans, with strong sales through HMV – aided by free CD  – the production of which avoided need for self-promotion.


The winners were chosen from a list of nearly 30 submissions from members of the Book Marketing Society representing the cream of the Christmas books crop for 2012.  They were judged by BMS officials (Jo Henry and Alastair Giles, Executive Directors, and Jon Slack, Development Manager) together with Dominic Gettins of European ad agency Havas, Hugh Salmon of the marketing and communications agency The Salmon Agency and Brand Republic blogger, Sam Missingham of The Bookseller magazine, and Gary Sheppard of Gardners, the leading UK wholesaler).


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