17.08.12 | Charlotte WilliamsRomance specialists Mills & Boon has launched its first billboard advertising campaign, aiming to capitalise on the "revolution" in female fiction following the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon.
The advertising campaign, which M & B described as "mid to heavyweight", is running in locations across the South Eastern rail network, and highlights two erotica titles, The Siren by Tiffany Reisz and Switch by Megan Hart, with the tagline: "Spice up tomorrow's commute". The publisher is also launching the print versions of e-first titles 12 Shades of Surrender, and two six-in-one volumes of stories, Bound and Undone.
Head of marketing Tara Benson said: "Obviously we've had a bit of a revolution in female fiction in the past four months . . . None of us know where the erotic genre will take us, but there is the demand, and we have got the material."
She added: "The opportunity was to tell people that we were publishing the content they would expect from us. We put big bets on these titles, we are very aware that the type of conversation around erotica has moved on in the last four months. Women are happy to talk and discuss the books, and that's where a brand like Mills & Boon comes into its own, because we are happy to talk and discuss these things too. It's very bold, very bright."
Benson said the Fifty Shades campaign, run by Cornerstone, and the one for Bared to You by Sylvia Day, published by Michael Joseph, were both "quite similar in their look and feel". She said: "They had extraordinary sales, and obviously we want extraordinary sales. But I didn't see any need for the M&B brand to emulate another campaign."
Benson said the campaign was a "test" for the publisher, but that she hoped to run further billboard campaigns in future.
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