“Can I just say, before we go, that if I were a white man, I would love to look like you” – This was the point very early on in my career in marketing that I was pretty convinced that I would lose my job the next day. One probably shouldn’t say such things in what was meant to be a very serious interview with director turned fiction author David Cronenberg. My first marketing campaign was for Consumed, one that I elbowed my way into having been a fan of Cronenberg since I watched The Fly when I was way too young (and as a result had recurring nightmares for years about Jeff Goldblum’s jaw falling off in my hand).
The book, a satisfyingly nauseating comment on consumer and sexual fetishism has Cronenberg all over it, and from the first few pages I was hooked. The campaign allowed me to make links with the film distribution company who were releasing Maps to the Stars, Cronenberg’s most recent directorial hit, working with them to spread coverage across the literary as well as the film landscape.
I was able to make links with Picturehouse cinemas and the Curzon, running competitions through their channels, as well as hosting the trailer for the book on our social channels (watch it, you won’t regret it). It was a great time. A great, and nauseating time. Plus, David Cronenberg was the most astounding person to work with, as soon as I got over the shock and awe. Saying that, I don’t think I did.
Candice Carty-Williams, 4th Estate and William Collins Marketing Assistant
I was stood concealed from view in a window at Foyles, shouting out encouragement to an actor playing the role of his life – ‘a stereotypical English man at the beach’ – to bemused passers-by at Charing Cross.
The campaign was for Matt Rudd’s hilarious social commentary, The English, a book that cleverly lampoons and celebrates the quirks of the English people, observing our remaining common characteristics in the decline of nationalism. So many options for creativity, and I went at it with the unbridled frenzy of a naïve but eager-to-please marketeer.
The triumph of course being a unique window display that I decked out with beach balls, an umbrella, shells, bucket and spade and, of course, copies of the book lodged alluringly in the (real) sand. Insert aforementioned actor frolicking in the tiny, spot-lit window space for 6 hours, playing out a medley of English stereotypes while I silently cursed the gradual unravelling of my beautiful set.
This was, of course, one piece of a (spectacular) campaign, but it’s not an image I’m likely to forget in a hurry.
Tara Al Azzawi, 4th Estate and William Collins Marketing Manager
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