Wednesday, May 04, 2005

TV ad for James Patterson's 4th of July

I was checking my email and watching tv (at my multitasking best), when a commercial for James Patterson's newest thriller came on.

For some reason I just knew it was a book commercial, even before the author or book cover flashed on the screen. Maybe it was the cheesy ad copy, or perhaps every book commercial uses the same voice-over guy? Whatever it is, I paid attention. And I was a little horrified.

The main image of the commercial is a man and a woman cavorting (really, that's just the word, precisely) on a bed, round and round, kissing, making out. It's like bad porn.

Can't we do any better than that?

Coincidentally, I was reading a Wall Street Journal interview with Dean Koontz where he discusses the marketing of books, including tv advertising:

WSJ: Should publishers be spending more money on TV to advertise their books?

Mr. Koontz: The wisdom is that TV doesn't work for books. But I think it does work for books. It really depends on the crafting and preparation of that commercial. The problem with ads that say a new book is a thrill ride or the greatest love story ever told is that nobody relates to the obvious hype. Too often commercials basically say a book is thrilling rather than telling you what the book is about. That's the wrong way to sell. When you see a cereal commercial they don't say it's tasty: They offer you a hook for their product. I see little book advertising done that way.

I can safely say the crafting of this Petterson commercial leaves a lot to be desired...

[BTW, 4th of July is currently #10 at amazon.com.]

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