Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Gimme Gimmicks!

In yesterday's News Bits, In Brief (Um, did we really need that link? The post is located immediately following this one.), I cold dissed some fool's attempt to hype his novel by claiming to have written it on his cell phone. But was I too harsh on him? Have such gimmicks become necessary in order for products/art/etc. to stand out in today's information age?
Listed below are a few more examples of new and unusual ideas that authors and publishers are using to promote their books.

Via BoingBoing: TankBooks "pay homage" to the "monumentally successful" packaging of cigarettes with their line of literary classics. Tank is releasing books by Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Conrad, Leo Tolstoy and Franz Kafka in cardboard cartons the same size as a pack of cigarettes, complete with cellophane wrapping.

Via adgabber: "This guerilla campaign, in which a cup of coffee is stirred by an invisible hand or clairvoyant's effort, drew eyes to the book sitting alongside it. We'll let you guess which book it was for. Beware: the quality of the video is crappy, and the content itself is very long and very boring. And we don't know why it is that people, drawn to the stirring cup, touch the book and not the spoon. Is this psychological? Do they imagine there's some recipe locked deep in the hundreds of pages that will help them create their own vicarious stirring effects?"

(The sad part of this eye-catching alternative to everyday advertising? This viral video is quickly making its way around the web, yet no one knows what book it's hyping!)

Via MediaBistro: While we've got you in the coach potato position, click this link to see comics maestro Eddie Campbell's (Alec, Bacchus, From Hell) flash animation ad for his new book, The Black Diamond Detective Agency. Honestly, I can't fault this one. It's actually quite effective.