“A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.”
- Franz Kafka
Promoting literature consumption would seem a fruitless effort in countries such as Mexico, where average annual reading levels do not even reach three books per capita. These numbers do not provide an accurate reflection on a multimillion dolar industry that stands out for its marketing and advertising communication activities.
On the other hand, reading happens to be a formal and boring activity for most of the population. Same appreciation extends to the methods traditionally used to promote the publishing industry - fairs, conventions, presentations, public readings. All this taking place in venues such as theaters, libraries, cultural establishments, among others. Same functions that, somehow, are held among the people involved and, definitely, turn out to be quite attractive and fascinating to those who have a reading habit and are familiar with those environments. In other words, we are dealing with an offer that does not reach out beyond its own circles.
But what about attracting new readers? What about the seducing through an industry to those who refuse to even open a book? (And not to mention the fact of buying it.)
It is true that libraries, publishers, authors and developers face an increasingly difficult market with other economic priorities; survival in this industry is extremely difficult, resources are limited or insufficient and to put it simply, people just don't like to read.
This is where creativity plays a fundamental role. A role in a game in which just a few brands dare to invest in unconventional activities and bring literature to people in a witty, entertaining, direct - and far from all the elitist- traditional efforts that are so characteristic of the industry. With this, they show that reading is fun and a joy, available for everyone; letting words reach where our prejudices can’t even poke out.
The use of alternative media and technologies - coupled with an openness to new ideas and experimentation - is taking place gradually among the different companies involved in the production, distribution or promotion of books around the world. The recent case of Argentina, where they faced a reading crisis during the past few months due to a ban on books produced abroad, caused a reduction on the flow of reading material to more than 70%. An initiative implemented by domestic producers in order to promote the consumption of domestic literature and authors.
Investment in advertising creativity is not exclusive for large corporations, nor is ubiquitous media outputs through costly and colossal campaigns. As books teach us, truly transcendent things can also be implemented with imagination.
Marketing and advertising, as creative disciplines, often feed from the arts and their authors. They share a common factor - the exploration of a verbal and graphic language in order to communicate a message - and are inspired and developed from ideas that stem from inspiring resources, such as literature, in this case.
Books are the perfect example of human imagination. There should no reason as to why they should not be used to promote themselves.
Check out these other great examples: