Dispatches from the Digital Revolution
By JEN BRAY
Is Barnes & Noble changing its brand to compete with Amazon? I mean, it’s already selling more and more non-book items and has been following closely in Amazon’s footsteps with hardware innovations. And, oh yeah, what about that Jane Lynch commercial?
Barnes & Noble’s latest marketing campaign seems almost emblematic of how it is changing its strategy and quite possibly its brand. Take the Nook Tablet ad campaign. It’s Barnes & Noble’s biggest marketing campaign ever, and it is pulling out all the stops, intelligently enlisting author/actor celebrity Jane Lynch.
I am sure you have seen this musical-like commercial, and the even more showy “NOOKsellers at Your Service” commercial below. I am not sure about you, but I certainly have to stop and think, wait, this is a bookseller’s commercial?
Maybe you’ve forgotten, but remember when Barnes & Noble launched its Read Forever campaign to promote the Nook ereader and support the love of reading? That was only a year ago.
In the Read Forever campaign, Barnes & Noble’s message seemed less “Buy, buy, buy” (as in the show-tuney Nook Tablet campaign) and more seriously encouraged the message “reading is what’s important.” The campaign featured non-celebrity people reading, demonstrating that no matter what, whether reading a print book or ebook, reading will exist forever. Quite unlike the dance ensemble strutting around the store, singing about how great the tablet is.
Clearly, today’s message with the tablet is quite different than that of the Nook ereader. I get that Barnes & Noble needs to do what it has to do to compete with the likes of Amazon and stay alive. It’s just that only a year ago, Barnes & Noble focused its efforts to demonstrate the perseverance of the book and appeal to book lovers. And it makes me wonder what Barnes & Noble will become, especially since it’s looking less and less like a bookseller…
Do you think Barnes & Noble’s current marketing campaign is effective? Would it appeal to book lovers as it does to media lovers?