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Posts Tagged ‘E.L. James’

A Lesson in Marketing from Downton Abbey Wine

i.0.downton-abbey-winesThe wines named for 50 Shades of Grey and Downton Abbey are (relatively) old news in the blog world—you may have seen something about them in your twitter feed earlier this month. But today we learned that those two lines are produced by the same company, which led us to a groundbreaking conclusion:

You can slap a popular name on anything and pitch it.

For some reason, we’d like to believe that’s not the case—but it clearly is.

Ron Roy founded Wines That Rock in 2009 to combine two tastes that taste old and classy together: baby boomers who took their last trip years ago and mid-market wine, or one of the few guilt-free vices they can still enjoy. He started by creating reds and whites named for Pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones, so a partnership with Grey author E.L. James was a natural fit: same target audience, same basic premise.

The fact is, far more people will pay attention to your pitch if they see the name of a favorite pop culture property in the subject line—as long as the connection is legitimate and appropriate for the party you’re pitching.

Make of this what you will.

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The Cost of a Typo: $250,000

No matter what E.L. James tells you, the professional world still values the ability to write well–and that invaluable skill includes the nearly forgotten art of copy editing. We mention this fact because sometimes tiny little errors can be both costly and embarrassing.

In case you don’t live in New York City (congratulations), the Metropolitan Transportation Authority just earned the ill will of all eight million of us city folk by raising the price of a single subway fare from $2.25 to $2.50. The MTA’s communications team, however, does not appear to have received the message: the organization printed out thousands of updated maps that still listed the minimum price of a pay-per-ride subway card at $4.50 (it’s now $5).

Of course, all those thousands of maps are now useless. The price to correct this incredibly simple mistake? A quarter of a million dollars. That may not be a lot for an organization that serves so many people every day, but it does give us a great opportunity to make a point: your voice matters. Whether writing materials for yourself, your firm or your client, make sure you edit everything twice. Misspellings on your own Facebook page are fine–but awful as grammar and punctuation on the social network may be, those errors never cost anybody so much for so little.

Fifty Shades of Grey Author E.L. James to Publish Writing Guide

E.L. James Inner Goddess Today in Milking it For All It’s Worth news, novelist/spanking enthusiast/early choral music expert E.L. James just announced plans to further expand her personal brand by writing a book about…writing.

Not only will the book bear her name, it will also once again build on her most enduring product, the Fifty Shades of Grey series (working title Softcore for Dummies). Fifty Shades of Grey: Inner Goddess (a Journal) will be “a how-to guide” published by Vintage Books, and it will consist of James’s thoughts on the writing life in addition to her personal “getting in the (writing) mood” playlists and a few blank spaces for the aspiring literary superstar to record his or her (OK, her) own notes on the subject. Sounds like a great marketing scheme, no? Oh, and it will all come in a handsome “bonded” “soft leather” cover–we could probably turn that one into a double entendre but this daylight savings time thing is a real buzzkill.

We understand the urge to wring even more publicity out of one’s greatest cultural achievement. If we were E.L. James we would probably do the same thing. But should the world at large really take writing lessons from the mind that created these PG-13 masterpieces of linguistic contortion?

  • “He’s my very own Christian Grey popsicle.”

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Adventures in Marketing: ‘Fifty Shades of Chicken’

Fifty Shades of Chicken Random House Today we bring you what is, without a doubt, one of our favorite marketing projects of the year.

First: You may have heard that Random House employees recently received hefty $5000 holiday bonuses thanks, in large part, to a certain obscure author/handcuff enthusiast named E.L. James.

In case you thought the publishing house couldn’t wring a single cent more from its whips-and-chains smash 50 Shades of Grey, you thought wrong: the company recently released a lighthearted companion piece in the form of a cookbook titled Fifty Shades of Chicken. It’s ostensibly a collection of recipes, but it’s really just an excuse to milk that juicy property ’til it’s bone dry.

Why do we love this project? We’re suckers for satire and clever, pun-filled copy, so we’ll just let the official Twitter feed speak for itself:

…and it keeps going, people. There is apparently no shortage of sexual innuendos in the culinary world.

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Audi Brand Wins Big With ’50 Shades of Grey’

We haven't read them. Are they any good? Sex toys and bondage apparel aren’t the only products buoyed by the runaway success of “mommy porn” trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey. As you may know, the appetites of devastatingly handsome bachelor and all-around rich guy Christian Grey extend beyond kinky sex and virginal women to include luxury cars. He doesn’t just like fancy wheels, he likes Audis — lots of them. So what did Audi do to earn this high-value product placement? Not a thing (except for boasting a meticulously cultivated and widely recognized brand image).

According to Ad Age, author E.L. James (that’s 30 million copies and counting) doesn’t own an Audi — she’s not even a major fan. But when she needed to choose an auto brand demonstrating her character’s wealth, class, and desire for top performance (no pun intended), Audi immediately came to mind.

As Rob Donnell, founder and president of Los Angeles-based Brand Arc, told Ad Age: “It was probably purely character-driven. Cars always define character quite precisely, and that’s usually one of the ways [brands] can get in early” on books, TV shows or movies. In other words, while these freebie product placement spots came about organically, they’ve made Audi a shoe-in for a guest starring role in the upcoming 50 Shades film series — and we think the company will be ready to shell out a pretty penny for the pleasure (think Volvo in the Twilight series). The time has come to make a move: Universal and Focus Features have reportedly bought the rights to Ms. James’ trilogy for a cool $5 million.

What impact has all of this commotion had on the Audi brand?

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