Hitting the campaign trail: how innovative thinking and clever campaigns helped to shape the charts in 2005

<p>Harriet Dennys</p><p>Gross marketing spend on books last year was almost &#163;31m, a tiny 0.34% of the UK's total advertising spend of &#163;9bn, according to Nielsen Media Research. Of this total, the largest sums of money went on press and outdoor advertising, which accounted for 54% and 26% of the total spend respectively. These were followed by spending on TV advertising (17%) and radio advertising (2%), with cinema advertising representing a small but influential section of books marketing at 1%.</p><p>But although the largest share of marketing funds went on press ads, a new survey by Viacom Outdoor, which manages Tube advertising for London Underground, suggests, perhaps unsurprisingly, that outdoor advertising could be the most effective way of connecting consumers with brands. The study, which analysed London-only media, shows that Tube ads have a longer 'captive message time' than either press or TV ads.</p><p>Ads on the Tube account for 31% of the time Londoners spend looking at advertising, according to the report, compared with 21% for television and 24% for press. Over a four-week period, this breaks down into 11.1 hours spent looking at ads on the Tube: 4.6 hours reading 48-sheet landscape ads, 2.5 hours reading 16-sheet portrait ads, and four hours reading advertising panels inside trains.</p><p>Last year, every major publisher ran London Underground campaigns. Books promoted on the Tube ranged from Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (Michael Joseph), which used three different creatives, to Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper (Hodder), which was marketed by crosstrack 16-sheet posters to coincide with transmission of the Richard&amp;Judy Book Club choice. </p><p>Other high-profile Tube and rail campaigns included Simon&amp;Schuster's London Underground 12-sheets and outdoor CTN four-sheets for Above Suspicion, and Time Warner's four, six and 48-sheet posters in mainline stations across south-east England for Mark Billingham's Lifeless.</p><p>Elsewhere, Sharon Osbourne, Jamie Oliver and John Thaw all adorned the backs of London buses last year, thanks to Time Warner, Penguin and Bloomsbury, while heavyweight radio campaigns were launched in Ireland for authors Minette Walters (Macmillan), Penny Vincenzi (Headline) and Cecelia Aherne (HarperCollins). Online campaigns were also popular, for example Macmillan's major online push for Lunar Park, which featured a video promotion to drive orders to Amazon.</p><p>Children's publisher Egmont had the third largest cinema spend in 2005 due to its campaign for Lemony Snicket's 12th adventure, The Penultimate Peril. Egmont ran a one-week cinema campaign before the release of the "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" film, and a three-week campaign before "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". </p><p>HarperCollins also used cinema, advertising the film tie-in paperback for "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" in 52 Vue cinemas nationwide, as well as giving out sample chapters of the book to people who went to see "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory".</p><p>The campaigns</p><p>Take that: Headline's campaign for Martina Cole's The Take centred on a Sun /Woolworths promotion, which gave every Sun reader the chance to pick up a free Martina Cole backlist title from any Woolworths store. The promotion was backed up by consumer advertising, including pre-sell material, giant roadside billboards in major cities nationwide, and a 12-sheet "blitz" across the London Underground network. Headline reports that the campaign has been "an undeniable success"; Martina Cole was the biggest-selling adult fiction hardback author in 2005, enjoying a 40% uplift in sales against her previous release, Graft.</p><p>Folk tales: Simon&amp;Schuster started its campaign for Bob Dylan's Chronicles in August by giving away Bob Dylan promotional material at folk events such as the Green Man and Fairport Convention Cropredy festivals. On the day of the book's launch, 19th September, Bob Dylan buskers played in central London, and Foyles on Charing Cross Road held a live window event with a Dylan lookalike and recreation of famous footage from "Subterranean Homesick Blues". Press advertising appeared in the launch issue of the Berliner format Guardian, plus the Big Issue , and music magazines Word ,NME and Record Collector .</p><p>All the rage: Penguin made a splash with Rage--its first hardback from Jonathan Kellerman since his move from Headline--with a new cover design and arresting ad-line: "Kellerman: the real scene of crime is the mind." For two weeks from 24th October Penguin ran a national six-sheet adrail campaign and a London Underground 12-sheet campaign as part of its long-term strategy to make Kellerman a number one bestseller by the time his third Penguin book is released, due in hardback in October 2007.</p><p>Inside knowledge: Showbiz and scandal were the selling points for Piers Morgan's The Insider, which was one of the biggest paperbacks of last year for Ebury, confounding expectations that the book would be bought just by journalists and newspaper owners. The paperback's success was driven by a nationwide campaign consisting of news stand-style advertising, while four-sheet posters and escalator panels in London railway and Tube stations reinforced the message that reading The Insider was the only way to discover "the secrets the stars didn't want you to read". Sales were also boosted by tabloid advertising, combined with strong support from retailers and the media--most notably celebrity "bible" Heat.</p><p>On the ball: Liverpool was the focus of Macmillan's campaign for footballer Robbie Fowler's illuminating memoirs. During September, when Fowler: My Autobiography was published, Macmillan targeted Fowler's core fans from his time at Liverpool FC with 96-sheet posters throughout the city; it also bought up the advertising space on the side of supermarket chain Costco's lorries. In London, Macmillan ran a London Underground crosstrack campaign of 60 16-sheet posters, and organised Robbie Fowler competitions on its website. Prizes were copies of the book and signed Manchester City football shirts.</p><p>Strange but true: Bloomsbury made sure that everyone remembered 5th September, with its special edition Jonathan Strange&amp;Mr Norrell T-shirts worn by booksellers. The paperback edition of Susanna Clarke's first novel was also marketed by a London Underground crosstrack campaign of 100 16-sheet posters and a nationwide CTN campaign of 150 six-sheet posters. Press advertising for the book appeared in the Times supplement The Knowledge, the Mail on Sunday Review, the Sunday Times Culture and the Independent on Sunday.</p>