HarperCollins opens eyes and ears

HarperCollins set out to reconnect Toronto subway travellers to the experience of storytelling through the written word with a campaign that harnessed the power of sound to promote notable titles.

HarperCollins set out to reconnect Toronto subway travellers to the experience of storytelling through the written word with a campaign that harnessed the power of sound to promote notable titles.

The effort, developed by Toronto-based Dentsu Canada, incorporated four subway ads – two on the Bloor-Danforth subway line and two on the Yonge-University line – that each featured a striking image and an audio jack where commuters can plug in their headphones and listen to a brief excerpt from a book.

The narration concludes with the name of the book, a plot description and the tagline: ‘HarperCollins. We tell the world’s greatest stories.’

Ads for four titles were up in subways last month: The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, Next by Michael Crichton, The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall and I Met the Walrus by Jerry Levitan.

‘The great thing about this campaign is that it’s measurable,’ says Cory Beatty, marketing manager, digital advertising and promotion at HarperCollins. ‘We can look specifically at which titles have been plugged into and which titles have then seen a resulting sale.’