A kidnapped author, a führious dictator and an undercover model win Jan-April 2014 awards

POSTED ON: 11/06/14 TAGS: Adult fiction Awards Children's fiction Guerrilla marketing Non-fiction

by BMS

With sensational sunlit views across London’s skyline from the heights of Hachette’s Euston Road tower, the BMS seasonal awards were announced on the evening of Tuesday, 10th June, for campaigns run between January to April 2014.



Look Who’s Back by Timur Vernes
Marketers: Bethan Ferguson, Claire Morrison, Ella Pocock, Joel Richardson & Caroline Butler, MacLehose Press/Quercus

The campaign’s leading strapline, “He’s back and he’s führious”, quite neatly demonstrated the masterly handling by the Quercus marketing team of a very sensitive subject. With only a limited budget, the team drip-fed various simple but witty messages (themed business cards, postcards, etc), which were highly effective in recruiting early supporters from the book trade, who were then used to supply reviews and begin the word of mouth campaign in earnest. There was also great use made of the iconic cover design, and a strong partnership with Caboodle which recruited thousands of entries. A great example of humour and creativity making up for a small marketing budget.


Model Under CoverModel Under Cover: A Crime of Fashion, by Carina Axelsson
Marketers: Sarah Aspinall and Anna Howorth, Usborne

This campaign about an undercover model detective in the fashion industry was well-targeted at girls aged 10-13, not just book readers but fans of fashion and beauty blogs too. Usborne made the most of their author’s fashion credentials, and deployed an online treasure hunt around key social media sites which resulted in more than 5,000 entries. It was another small budget campaign, with great ROI results.


James PattersonCampaign Title: James Patterson is Missing
Marketers: Gina Luck, Rebecca Ikin, Alex Young, Chloe Healy, Cornerstone/Random House

Devising a marketing campaign for one of the most prolific and bestselling ‘writer/collaborators’ in the publishing business might seem an easy task. But the challenge of drawing together the various series being released by Patterson into a cohesive message is no small task, and it’s the inventive approach taken by the Cornerstone team that earned them a win for this season’s campaign awards.

The concept was simple – an “Avengers Assemble for James Patterson”.  A new villain known as Jane Doe hacks into James Patterson’s Facebook page and announces Patterson has been kidnapped. She sets a challenge to fans: they must solve her three daily clues or Patterson will be forced to write solely about her, thereby killing off his various detectives forever. Alarmed by this new reality, said detectives spring to life, to aid the community in the hunt. The campaign became a real-time, multi-platform ‘social media thriller’ which got the fans to do the work, and was an excellent display of brand building, rationalising Patterson’s output and enabling cross-promotion between the four different series. Over the same period and with same number of books, sales grew by 27% along with strong increased engagement across the brand.


A number of campaigns were also awarded a ‘Highly Commended’



The Rosie Project, by Graham Simsion
Marketer: Kimberley Atkins, Penguin/Michael Joseph

  • Very strong art direction
  • Effective partnerships with The Reading Agency & Waterstones
  • Richard & Judy selection and very strong sales for debut novel
  • Valentine Day tie-up with ‘Bob’s Lobsters’
  • Seasonal straplines: “Santa Claws is coming to town”/ “Don’t give roses, give The Rosie Project”


The Best Thing That Never Happened to Me, by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice
September Withers, Transworld

  • Ebook first, digital only campaign
  • ‘Official blog tour’, working with network of key bloggers to target key audience
  • Led to full support of iBookstore and homepage rotating banners


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