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•  Featured campaigns: Francona and NW

•  What’s Next Now:

»  App Advertising: Reach book buyers how and where they’re listening to relevant programming: NPR, Stitcher, Pandora, iHeart Radio

»  Social Media: What’s Twitter up to now?

»  Outdoor 2.0: Digital outdoor advertising gains the benefits of digital connectivity

»  Print: A landmark publication, and its blue chip audience, gets affordable with an exclusive rate for Verso clients

Francona Posters - Boston, MA

FRANCONA: There may have been a little snow on the ground, but in Boston the Red Sox are always in season. We are proud to have created the outdoor advertising for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s New York Times bestseller FRANCONA in two huge multi-part outdoor display towers outside the Kenmore station, just down the road from Fenway Park.

NW Zadie Smith

NW: We’re always excited by a new book from Zadie Smith. So we were particularly pleased when Penguin Press asked us to create a campaign for her novel NW that became one of the most sophisticated push-down ads to run on The campaign offered New York Times Digital readers the opportunity to enter into a multi-media experience of Zadie Smith’s Northwest London with images from the novel’s real life schools, shops and streets, layered with text and audio of Smith herself reading from the novel. The entire multi-media experience lived within the ad space on the page; so readers didn’t have to leave the page to dive into the novel. While the ad is no longer running, the splash page we created for it lives on. Check it out for yourself.

MOBILE — App spotlight: “The New Radio”

The numbers make it crystal clear: mobile media is the most exciting and quickly evolving platform for paid advertising. We have been advertising books on mobile web sites and apps through partnerships for many years with great results. What we’re seeing now is that mobile has become more about connectivity across platforms rather than any single device or location. Mobile now means the ability to target consumers as they move throughout their day, from desktop to in-car to mobile phone, and even includes digital integration with traditional outdoor advertising (for more on that, see the “Outdoor 2.0” story below).
There’s no better example of this connectivity than the services that used to be called “Internet radio” such as iHeart, Pandora, and Spotify. These services are now reaching across multiple devices. This ever-changing form of “radio” offers advertisers the combined advantages of broadcast and digital media—including the ability to target by geography, age, gender, and type of content. We have seen outstanding click-through rates on this kind of media—especially with Pandora—because of a more focused environment with a limited number of ads per hour, and the ability to pair an audio ad with a display banner. Here are some new options you should keep in mind:


National Public Radio has always been an outstanding partner for book publishers, and now they’re going even farther by giving Verso clients the exclusive right to buy smart phone app sponsorships for considerably less than the minimum spend. A ten-second credit on “Morning Edition” can move the needle on sales, and NPR’s online portal has been delivering the best click-through rates for everything from literary fiction to non-fiction. Now, NPR has added a great mobile package, with affordable sponsorship opportunities on NPR apps for every device. Ask your Verso account manager for details on this terrific solution for limited budgets. 

Stitcher Radio on DemandSTITCHER

Listening to radio on the move now means more than just tuning in while in your car. Stitcher is a new service that allows you to listen to your favorite radio programs – from NPR to the BBC to Fox News – as you move from home to car to work. With 9MM downloads, integrated with over 4MM vehicles (from companies including BMW, GM and Ford), and showing 200% new user growth, Stitcher is definitely a platform to watch (and listen to). We’ve just started working with them, but already we’ve seen outstanding results.

iHeart RadioiHEART RADIO

Local radio stations still have passionate audiences and great brand affinity that benefits advertisers. To reach this audience and take advantage of the benefits of digital interaction, there is iHeart. iHeart is the hub of all the content for broadcast radio powerhouse Clear Channel. There have been 130 million downloads of the iHeart app so far and iHeart is getting about 50 million unique visitors per month nationwide. iHeart radio is available on web, mobile, tablet, Xbox, connected TV and car dashboard integration. 

SOCIAL — Twitter and Paid Advertising

We are keeping a close eye on the evolution of Twitter’s paid advertising options. The latest focus for Twitter is integrating their new application programming interface (API) with existing advertising services. In the short term, the immediate effects of the API will have less impact on book marketing than it will on larger brand advertising strategy. As with most developments in brand advertising, however, we watch for this to shift as the technology matures, costs come down and small campaign relevance goes up. In the meantime, existing options such as sponsored tweets and sponsored hashtags continue to be important options for the right author and title.

OUTDOOR — New opportunities



New York Metro area commuters are a well-read bunch. We’ve successfully advertised on buses, trains, station platforms and more for decades. Now, there are dynamic new ways to target commuters at Penn Station—from the surprisingly affordable to the blockbuster.

Penn Station Digital Display


NJ Transit commuters entering NY Penn Station have their own exclusive access at West 31st & 7th Avenue. This beautiful glass enclosed entrance contains only one advertising space; a huge nine-screen digital display! Some 100,000 people are exposed to this phenomenal 140” diagonal advertising vehicle every day. Estimated cost, exclusive of production: $8,250 for four weeks.
Penn Station Domination


If you want to go further, consider the Penn Station domination: a multi-screen, high impact, can’t-miss experience of digital ads strategically placed throughout the station. $117,650 delivers: two LED Units (sized 60.5”x107.50”), eight LCD Corridor Units (45.2”x80.5”), six LCD Portrait Units (62.8”x35.3”), and six LCD Soffit Units (26.8”x47.6”).

OUTDOOR 2.0 — Real world media, updated

Outdoor Mobile Retargeting
If you have the right book for the right location, outdoor remains one of the highest profile advertising options around. Now, we can bring that high visual impact of outdoor advertising together with the data-rich interactivity of mobile retargeting. Mobile retargeting allows advertisers to synchronize ads in popular free apps on a user’s mobile device with the real world media he or she passes by on the street. Free apps include Access Hollywood, Accuweather, AP News, CBS News, Huffington Post, iVillage, NBC Sports, OK Cupid, Pandora, Photobucket, SyFy Channel, and many more.  
Here’s how it works: Based on the audience you are trying to reach, we create a virtual “geo-fence” encompassing the billboard. Since the apps on your phone know your location, they can deliver a retargeted ad within the app whenever you are near the billboard. 
Sample location and audience breakdown: 57th & Lexington is one of the most trafficked intersections in New York City and offers advertisers access to high-value professionals and shoppers. This mobile network reaches an average audience of almost 40,000 people per day with an average age of 37 and a 49%/51% male/female breakdown. 84% of these people live and/or work in Manhattan, with 57% living within 15 miles of Manhattan. 77% of the audience sees this ad at least once a week. 68% are regular users of public transportation.
Estimated cost: $23,550 for a guaranteed 1MM impressions

PRINT — Featured rate for Verso clients

SmithsonianSmithsonian magazine has always been a great way to reach book buyers, but its top-notch audience has come at a premium cost, until now. We’re happy to announce an exclusive rate for Verso clients. A full-page four-color ad in the Smithsonian is now available for a Verso client-only rate of $20,000. Compared to the $160,000 open rate, that’s a massive discount for a blue-ribbon publication and its 2.1MM circulation audience of proven book buyers.
The opportunities we mention here are only a few of the new advertising tools and strategies we come across every day. Contact your Verso account manager today for a plan crafted from the most relevant, actionable, up-to-date intelligence available.
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