To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of his debut novel The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks decided he wanted to do something special for the launch of his latest novel, TWO by TWO, which published on October 4th. Never shy around a challenge, the team at PLM jumped at the opportunity to develop a creative campaign.
Above: Emily Sweet (PLM's Executive Director of Brand Development & Client Promotions, center left) and Andrea Mai (PLM's Director of Publisher and Retail Relations, Right) meet with Grand Central's Amanda Pritzker and Milan Records' JC Chamboredon to launch the campaign.
Nicholas has long admired musicians' ability to explore complex emotions in the short space of a song. Working with Nicholas, the team at PLM developed a campaign around a soundtrack for the book, which follows a young man whose seemingly perfect life with his wife and daughter is unexpectedly upended. The book explores the idea of unconditional love: its challenges, its risks and most of all, its rewards.
To create the soundtrack, PLM brought Nicholas together with Ohio-based singer-songwriter JD Eicher, whose voice and emotional lyrics were perfect for creating the title song, "Two by Two". The end result was a four-song EP.
In order to not only create the soundtrack but also to get it into the hands of Nicholas's readers and JD's fans, PLM worked with a number of partners, coordinating a multi-stage, three month-long campaign. Our partners included Rock Ridge Music (JD's label), Milan Records, ADA/Warner, Spotify and Pandora.
PLM worked to create an official Nicholas Sparks Pandora station, which included the book's tracks and was promoted through advertising across Pandora.
PLM partnered with Spotify to make the soundtrack available for streaming on Spotify. In conjunction with Grand Central Publishing, we coordinated a stop at the Spotify offices in NYC, where JD and Nicholas created the official Spotify book playlist.
JD's music -- and JD himself -- were integrated into the Two by Two tour. Many bookstores, used to traditional book signings, were
ecstatic to welcome Nicholas and JD into their stores for a one-of-a-kind event.
With the help of Concert Window, PLM was able to organize a very
special steaming of "A Conversation with Nicholas Sparks". The event,
broadcast from Lone Tree, Colorado, included a moderated conversation with
Nicholas Sparks and bestselling author Eleanor Brown and featured a special
performance by JD Eicher of the songs from the soundtrack.
Following their stop at Spotify, the hit band Passenger promoted the books's official Spotify playlist, which included one of their songs, across their social channels.
When the soundtrack campaign was confirmed, Andrea Mai, PLM's director of publisher and retail relations jumped on the opportunity to use the promotion to further excite booksellers about TWO BY TWO. In order to tie retailers' promotions into the larger book campaign, Andrea worked with accounts to create special content marking Nicholas's 20th book. In coordination with Grand Central Publishing, she secured a number of exclusive editions and editorial features across various accounts, helping to bolster TWO BY TWO visibility through those channels.
Nicholas Sparks wrote an exclusive essay looking back on his twenty years as an author. The essay was featured on Amazon's gateway page and promoted across their social media channels.
Above: Amazon homepage placement
Above: Amazon Social Posts
PLM coordinated the production of a Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition. The partnership also included video content, social media posts, email blasts, and dedicated in-store promotion.
Above: B&N Video Content
Above: B&N Social Posts
Above: B&N Email Blast
Above: B&N homepage
PLM worked on creating the Target Exclusive Edition with Nicholas's publisher. The Target exclusive edition featured a pull-out poster with all twenty of Nicholas's books. Target also featured video content PLM created of Nicholas and JD on their feature wall in over 600 stores, and featured the book in their circular.
Above: Target edition's exclusive pull-out poster
Above: Nicholas Sparks on Target's video wall
Above: Nicholas's title featured in the Target circular
In addition to using targeted advertising, PLM worked with each partner's social teams in order to amplify the social media reach of the campaign. Across all of the partners' channels, the campaign had a reach of 22,500,000 followers.