A debut author has flyposted Penguin Random House's offices in London's Vauxhall as part of a guerrilla marketing stunt to promote his new book.
With the aim of turning PRH's headquarters into an advertisement for his work Be More Pirate (Penguin), out on Thursday (3rd May), Sam Conniff Allende affixed an 8-metre-long fluorescent billboard-style poster across the front of PRH's building on Vauxhall Bridge Road, London - apparently without his publishers' knowledge, approval or permission.
Conniff Allende managed to gain access to the offices with a group of "like-minded rebels" by dressing in disguise as contractors undertaking an official installation. To cover the costs of printing the advert he had installed, he used the exact fee PRH c.e.o. Tom Weldon had agreed to pay him for a forthcoming event.
Brushing off the event, Weldon commented: "When we commissioned Sam we knew it was a chance to see how he'd do things differently. Whilst I didn't realise I was indirectly paying to flypost my own offices, and I won't be doing that again, I do applaud his spirit of rewriting some rules and appreciate an author who's willing to take risks to prove books build movements."
Ask forgiveness, not permission! Great to see a unique approach to advertising, reminds me of the fun we’ve had with our airlines. Congratulations on the book @samconniff #bemorepirate pic.twitter.com/ZLLnLpWLV1— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) May 3, 2018
The stunt follows the philosophy of "good trouble" championed by Conniff Allende in his new book, Be More Pirate: Or How to Take On the World and Win. In it he encourages people "to be more pirate" and risk everything by breaking and remaking the rules. The author said he believes that "when the time is right you need to not do what you’re told".
He continued: "Like the pirates in my book, this isn’t wanton rule-breaking, this is about rule re-writing, doing things differently, doing things better, but getting there faster by saying 'sorry', rather than waiting for permission. Be More Pirate is about shaking up the establishment and a rallying cry in the spirit of good trouble ... I’m humbled to have heard from so many people who’ve been inspired to action, I feel obliged to meet them with a rebellious act that flies this new pink #BeMorePirate flag even higher."
The stunt has won plaudits from the likes of Richard Branson, who wrote on Twitter that it was “great to see a unique approach to advertising, reminds me of the fun we’ve had with our airlines”.
One employee, who didn’t not want to go on record, said: "It’s certainly the ‘first’ time a new author has done something like this to us. Let’s hope it’s not the last thing he does with us."