Martina Cole ‘The Family’
Client: Headline Publishing
How we'd explain it to our mothers
Martina Cole is one of the UK’s most famous fiction authors. With her last three books going straight to the top of the Sunday Times bestseller list, Headline Publishers were keen to continue this success for the release of ‘The Family’ and chose us to lead the creative route for the marketing campaign. We knew that a traditional poster campaign had its value in creating awareness across the country and combined with a book signing would be great for London; however, we wanted to help take it a little further, embracing the interactive opportunities available and generating ‘talkability’ which required some less typical tools.
Old and new Martina Cole readers buy ‘The Family’.
For the hardback: an exclusive website, pop up shop and poster campaign. For the paperback: “clean graffiti and a bus poster campaign.
How we did it
For the initial hardback release a central London pop-up shop location had already been secured by our client, but we developed the pop-up shop from designing the theme and layout to all the content. Using themes of the novel, we installed a ‘Martina Cole confession box’ and a ‘Family Secrets board’ where visitors could share their own experiences. With the help of a historian, we also created a ‘secret’ London map, mapping where villainous acts, dastardly deeds and violent murders have taken place in London; real, fictional and from Martina’s novels. In addition to raising awareness of the pop-up shop online, we created postcards which were handed out locally and we worked with WHSmiths to arrange sales of the book. To further the interactive Martina Cole experience for fans and new readers alike, we also designed and built a website for readers to share their family secrets anonymously. Traffic was driven to the site using a QR code on the official posters we designed and it was seeded via a range of social media platforms. To promote the paperback launch our “clean graffiti” worked in a reverse way to normal graffiti. It “cleans” away dirt to reveal the original surface lying beneath the grime that builds up on city surfaces. We designed a stencil to create outlines advertising the paperback launch which appeared at a variety of central London locations. This was in conjunction with our impactful designs for a bus poster campaign.
The Family went straight to number No 1 in the UK hardback fiction bestseller list, taking Martina’s total book sales to 10m copies. Over 100 secrets have been shared on the site and the pop-up shop attracted a large queue of fans.