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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

A new way to advertise the ‘old school’

You can’t really get more old school than a book. So how, in this day and age, can you capture the attention of people with declining attention spans who are addicted to screens and checking their emails?

Bookworld captured my attention on two separate occasions. Now, that may seem pretty normal; we all encounter ads in our day-to-day lives. However, these were two occasions during which I usually am not easily distracted.

The first occasion was around 5:30am on a rainy Sydney morning. I was out for a run. Like all good runners, I religiously use my apps to track my speed, distance and stamina. I take my track record so seriously that I sometimes don’t even stop at intersections (if I’m sure there are no cars coming!). However, on this particular morning, something caught my eye. Bright, simplistic and cheerful, a bus shelter ad seemed to call out to me, “Mates Rates. We’ll beat Amazon by 10%, Guaranteed.” I thought – no way! I sacrificed my best speed and did a double take. When I turned around, I saw that the other side of the ad was full of books! How cool!

The second time happened when I was waiting to load a music video on YouTube. Anxious to get my Beyonce fix, I was irritated at the growing frequency of ads on the website. Usually I hover over the ‘Skip’ button, grinding my teeth as I count down to the moment I am no longer forced to watch. However, this time was different. 10 seconds passed. 20 seconds passed. I was still watching. I had watched the whole video! And it wasn’t a short one either. Totalling in at 1:37min, the ad defies the statistics of our declining attention span. Below is a short version, or you can watch the long version, here.


With their cheerful message and honest approach, Bookworld has done a great job at capturing the interest of potential customers. Due to initial successes, there’s no doubt they will be capitalising on this great way of advertising: creating great interactive moments, moments worth sharing, that encourage word of mouth and conversation around the brand.

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at The University of Sydney Business School

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