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Monday, Apr. 28, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Johnny Bunko Sure Knows How to Market a Book

By Robert Gorell
April 28th, 2008

The other week, Holly wrote about using video to build better customer relationships. But what if you have a specific product to sell?

Here’s a great example of using video to sell a book online:

Riverhead Books and Penguin Books hired Lindsey Testolin to make made the words of Daniel H. Pink and the illustrations of Rob Ten Pas come to life in the shape of a film trailer — complete with gratuitous needle-dragging-on-record sound effect to suggest a sudden change of expectations. There’s a strong call to action for the book’s website and it insists at the end credits that Johnny Bunko is the best graduation gift of 2008.

Poor Johnny may not know where his career’s headed, but he sure knows how to market a book.

ERRATUM: Turns out that the publisher had nothing to do with the creation of the trailer. Hmm… No surprise there, really. Publishers, take note. This sort of content is worth your money.

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Comments (11)

  1. That is a great example of the future of virtual merchandising. Now I don’t know exactly what the future holds for marketing in the world of e-commerce, but with broadband becoming the norm, I have a feeling we will be seeing more examples of video being used to market products.

    You should take a look at how American Eagle ( are using video to sell products. I think they have hit it on the head with their target audience.

    I’ll be doing a presentation on video merchandising at the end of the week and I will definitely have to show this video.

    Great find!

  2. Great trailer. These are really hot right now in the book marketing world – everyone is doing a book trailer and putting it on YouTube. I don’t know how they are impacting sales, but they seem to be what everyone is looking for right now.

  3. Whoever did this video, Johnny Bunko, did a first rate job. The script and wording, to me seemed to be done by someone who knew how to phrase things in a interesting manner. Personally, I really feel I know what God’s desire for me to do with my life and talent. For those who are not sure or are searching, I thought the video tickled the interested to buying the book. I also liked their thought pattern about comparing their book to the ‘Who moved my cheese book’ which i think was a big seller. Never hurts to say we are a new product for a new time and we will be the standard for year 2000. To me, this was a slick job of promotion.

  4. Cool trailer!

  5. Very funny video. I was unaware of this trend, but you’re right there are many book trailers on youtube:

    This one is exceptional though :) I like how it includes motivators at the end to check out the website.

  6. A book trailer…

    Yes, really. Robert Gorell points out the brilliant marketing tool Riverhead books uses for one of their new books in a recent post on the Future Now blog. I’d suggest that one of the things that makes the trailer work so well is the very decent …

  7. CORRECTION: Turns out that the publisher had nothing to do with the creation of this trailer.

    Publishers should take note, though. This sort of content is worth your money.

  8. Wow, I would love to do that, but our products change often year to year, and it would be a shame to invest all that time and effort for a video that may only be up for 8-16 months…

  9. I am strongly thinking about adding a 2 minute product description VIDEO, instead of having still photos on my individual item pages. I would talk about the product in general, strenghts and weaknesses, plug my 60 day money back guarantee, commonly asked customer service questions about the product, and by people seeing the video, they would have a better idea of what they were getting and the size of the item.

    I would have bulleted lists on general information on the individual item pages as well, but instead of product photos, I would have a product video.

    Does anyone have an opinion about this? Does anyone think this is a bad idea? Is 2 minutes to long? I would not have 5 different product shots of the item but one flash video instead….

    Would a video not appeal to any of the 4 major shopping types?

  10. As Dan’s WOM/Social media strategist, it pleases me to see our work recognized. Thanks for the kudos!

  11. [...] While snooping through someone’s online marketing blog I came across this trailer for a book. [...]

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