A sequence of chilling encounters and a warning not to talk to
strangers makes up Penguin Books' first TV campaign for one of its
flagship authors through Mustoe Merriman Levy.
The 30-second ad for the launch of The Red Room, the new book by crime
writer Nicci French, depicts men stopping women on a deserted canal path
and asking them for directions or the time before asking about their
private lives and where they live in a bid to convey the horror of the
The account director, Diana Inglis, said: "We really wanted to capture
the creepiness of The Red Room and avoid any attempts at simply making a
glossy trailer of the book. French's writing is so knife-edge that the
commercial could only be a real reflection of that."
The ad will be aired after 9pm nationally on Channel 4 from 21
Penguin's general marketing director, Abigail Hanna, said the time was
right for a TV campaign.
"We were determined to break new ground in TV book advertising by
creating something that was genuinely different and that could stand up
creatively and dramatically against ads for any product," she added.
MML created a TV campaign last year for Penguin when the publisher
relaunched its Roald Dahl series of children's books. The Red Room ad is
the first to be made for a specific book.
The spot was written by Paul Diver and art directed by Alan Morrice.
It was directed by Lucy Blackstad through Brave Films. Media is through