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Verso Advertising — Spring 2016 Newsletter

IN BRIEF

 

•  Featured Campaigns: The Fireman, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Obsession, The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty

•  Featured Units: New York Times Crossword Adjacency, BookBub Newsletter

•  Next to Now: Links to Recent News in Advertising

Featured Campaigns
The Fireman by Joe Hill

THE FIREMAN

William Morrow
The Fireman by Joe Hill — New York Times Review of BooksHow do you follow up two New York Times bestselling blockblusters like NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box? You stay cool. We were thrilled to be able to put together a blockbuster-worthy media plan for The Fireman, the latest sizzler from Joe Hill. We came big out of the gate starting at the on-sale date—with a full page NYTBR print ad, video and banners running across thriller content on Hulu, and native ads on the highly engaging New Yorker email—following up a couple weeks later with an NPR.org digital campaign leading into Father’s Day. The result? The Fireman scorched bestseller lists nationwide, landing at #1 the first week of on sale.

THE WIMPY KID COVER REVEAL

Diary of a Wimpy KidAbrams
For the last few WIMPY KID books, Abrams has generated pre-sales excitement by launching a cover reveal event months before each book’s on sale date. This year, we expanded our efforts: advertising the event not only to people in the trade through PW Daily, Learning.com and SLJ.com, but also to parents and kids through digital campaigns on NPR and PBS Parents and a programmatic campaign through Turn. The results were spectacular, with the campaign delivering not only outstanding click-through rates but also twice as many sign-ups for the event as the previous year.  We share the excitement of readers everywhere, and can’t wait to read the latest installment of this blockbuster series!

THE OBSESSION

Berkley
Nora Roberts — The ObsessionBook after book, Nora Roberts has created stories that become obsessions for her readers. We are proud to have helped feed that obsession for well over a decade now, and thrilled to work on the campaign for her latest bestseller. To connect her new book with the widest possible readership, Berkley ran a massive advertising campaign, including full page ads in the print editions of the NYTBR and People magazine, nationwide outdoor advertising in malls from New York to Texas to California, and a major email campaign that reached readers of such entertainment and lifestyle powerhouses as Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Us Weekly, HGTV, The Today Show and Reader’s Digest. The result? Another chart-topping bestseller and legions of satisfied fans.

THE UNFORTUNATE IMPORTANCE OF BEAUTY

W. W. Norton
The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty by Amanda FilipacchiTo promote the paperback release of Amanda Filipacchi’s hilarious and touching novel, W. W. Norton ran a campaign that targeted the kind of smart, beauty-aware-but-beauty-ambivalent readers who would love the book. The campaign ran on several savvy and stylish sites, delivering great click-through rates at highly efficient spends, especially on New York media's culture and fashion hotspots, The Cut and Vulture.

FEATURED UNIT: NYTIMES.COM CAROUSEL

New York Times Crossword Adjacency


In a world bristling with uncertainty, here are two things we know: (1) There is a heavy correlation between book buyers and crossword puzzle fanatics; and (2) The New York Times creates America’s premier daily crossword puzzle. Now, we can put these two things together to work for book publishers with a brand new position above the crossword puzzle in the Arts Section of the daily New York Times. This Custom Crossword Placement is sold in B&W only, and placed above the crossword puzzle six days a week (Monday-Saturday). The position comes with a four week minimum commitment. But don’t let that put you off: the unit is priced exceptionally well. Considered on a per week basis, it’s one of the most affordable units in the paper, and if you run different ads over the four week minimum, you can amortize the overall cost across several book budgets. Please note the position is already selling out fast. If you’re interested, contact your account executive right away to secure this one-of-a-kind spot for your book.
 

BookBub Newsletter Paid Ads


BookBubYou might know BookBub as a discount newsletter that offers ebook deals to a nationwide audience. In the past, the steep discounts BookBub requires have meant that the email makes sense mostly to promote backlist titles. But now BookBub is offering a paid advertising opportunity for full price books in their newsletters—allowing us to take advantage of their intelligently segmented audience for frontlist titles too. We tested the audience for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s stunning novel The Versions of Us, and found the BookBub newsletters delivered a higher than average click-through rate and a much lower cost per click—the marks of a highly efficient campaign.
NEXT TO NOW

LINKS TO RECENT NEWS IN THE ADVERTISING INDUSTRY

Every Friday we post links to the latest news on what’s next in advertising, with insight into what the news might mean for book marketing. Here is a selection of links from this winter’s posts:


➤ HOW TO GEO-FENCE A MOVING TARGET
Geo-fencing can be a very effective mobile targeting tool. Now, that targeting option comes to the roving double-decker tourist buses that prowl the streets of major U.S. cities including New York, San Francisco, L.A. and Chicago. With the strong correlation between travelers and book buyers, targeting tourist buses could be a great way to target readers not just for travel-related titles, but also for any title that gives particular insight into a city—whether it's a celebrity biography that features key L.A. locations or a new edition of Bright Lights Big City on the streets of Manhattan.

➤ 2016 INTERNET TRENDS
Mary Meeker’s definitive Trends report is out for 2016. The main sections focus on the continued growth of mobile and social, and burgeoning opportunities in transportation. Here are relevant highlights for book advertisers:
  • Mobile is solidly in place as the dominant format worldwide, but there’s still room for growth in ad spend versus hours spent on the device
  • Online advertising efficacy: problems and opportunities
  • Video ads that work are authentic, entertaining, in-context, and brief
  • Key differences between Millennials and Generation Z—including average number of screens wielded (2 screens vs. 5 screens), engagement style (curation vs. creation), and modes of communication (text vs. image)
  • The evolution of internet video from the past to the present: Live -> On Demand -> Semi-Live -> Real-Live
  • The rise of new tools of engagement—especially lenses and filters—and how they map to the rise of Instagram and Snapchat

➤ BEYOND THE BANNER
The new LUMA presentation on the state of digital marketing is out (it's a good week for definitive reports). Highlights:
  • The trend toward performance marketing (CPC, CPA) mitigates issues around ad blocking, bots, non-viewable ads
  • Value Exchange Programs are a win-win for advertisers and audiences. A good example is Pandora’s Sponsored Listening: early results have led to >10% increase in brand awareness and 30% lift in purchase intent
  • 85% of incremental digital ad spend goes to either Facebook or Google
  • In order to make use of their significant first party data, telcos are eyeing ad tech companies for acquisitions.

➤ SILENT VIDEO
Video marketers pay heed: 85% of Facebook video is watched with the sound off. (If nothing else, that should help with the audio line on the production budget.)

➤ WHAT’S THE IDEAL LENGTH OF A YOUTUBE VIDEO?
While studies of TV ads show :15 spots more effective than :30s (and at 65% the cost!), some studies show that YouTube videos as long as three minutes are making a serious impression. YouTube’s take-away? “Go short or go long.”

➤ NATIVE AD PERFORMANCE
Commenting on a study of native advertising click-through rates, Media Post is surprised to see that native ads do better on mobile. We are not. Mobile remains the best platform for high engagement—and not just because of mistaken clicks:
“The research found that click-through rates (CTR) for premium native ads were highest on smartphones, at 0.38% in 2015, while tablets saw an average CTR of 0.33%. Native ads on desktop computers saw CTR rates of 0.16%.”

➤ LISTEN UP: PEOPLE PREFER PODCAST ADS
AdWeek reports on a new comScore study that finds that people prefer podcast ads to all other types of digital ads:
“And not only do listeners not mind hearing them—they act on them. The study of 2,000 U.S. respondents ages 18 to 49 found that two-thirds of listeners have acted on ads they heard in a podcast either by researching a product or service or by actually purchasing something they first heard about in an episode.”

➤ THE BENEFITS OF TARGETING TRANSPARENCY
A new study discussed in the Harvard Business Review suggests that not only do ads targeted to user behavior outperform non-targeted ads, but they do even better when the users know that they’re being targeted because of user behavior. Score another one for transparency.

➤ SIMPLE IS BEST
A new study suggests that in the visually complex world of the current Web, simpler messages hold the key to ad effectiveness.

➤ TEENS UP-VOTE WISHBONE
Ad Age reports that the new tap-to-vote app, Wishbone, is proving a hit with teenagers and inspiring creative engagement from brands who want to reach them.
LET US KNOW

The opportunities mentioned here are just a few of the new advertising tools and tactics we come across every day. To find out more about any of the ideas in this newsletter—or to get a plan crafted from the latest, most relevant, and most actionable information available—contact your Verso account manager today.

Verso Advertising
Copyright © 2016 Verso Advertising, Inc., All rights reserved.
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