Bluebird has released Nikesh Shukla's debut memoir Brown Baby with a campaign featuring innovative Facebook adverts which are said to be a first for UK publishing.
The book was released this week after its publication was pushed back from last September. Bluebird said it exploited the delayed schedule and the unique limitations of a lockdown publication to produce “an exceptional integrated publicity and marketing campaign”.
In what is claimed as a UK publishing industry first, the digital advertising campaign makes use of Facebook's “Instant Experience” feature to give the network's users and those on Instagram an extract of the book. In the Brown Baby ads, a preview animation expands to reveal a scrollable extract, swipe through carousels featuring advanced quotes, Shukla's biography and a “tap to buy” option, all within the user's home feed.
An extensive influencer outreach campaign has resulted in Brown Baby receiving advance praise from the likes of Bernardine Evaristo, Nadiya Hussain and Max Porter, plus support from the Bookstagram community. Evaristo described it as “a beautifully intimate and soul-searching memoir” while Porter said it was “bursting with love and honesty”.
The Bluebird team has also worked closely with Acast to launch the book's accompanying "Brown Baby" podcast, a weekly series in which the author chats to fellow parents of brown babies — from Jay Sean to Meera Syal — about their parenting journeys and the highs and lows they’ve experienced along the way.
PR highlights include a four-page spread in the Guardian Review, spots on BBC Breakfast and Sky News, widespread review coverage, from Bad Form Review to the Independent and Stylist, plus interviews on a number of high-profile UK podcasts. Shukla will take part in events and festivals throughout the spring, as well as being interviewed for virtual events with Burnt Roti and The Candid Book Club.
Bluebird said: “This timely campaign brings Brown Baby to life, presenting it as a must-read for fans of Shukla’s previous work, and new readers alike. This book will leave readers feeling inspired, connected and hopeful for our future.”