eBook Subscription Service Kobo Plus Fights ‘Book Shaming’ with ‘Be a Reader, Not a Follower.’

New campaign from The Garden promotes the unlimited binge-worthy titles available on the subscription service

eBook Subscription Service Kobo Plus Fights 'Book Shaming' with 'Be a Reader, Not a Follower.'

Would you rather read an ‘unputdownable Scottish detective thriller’ like Old Bones Lie, or perhaps ‘a page-turning murder mystery’ like A Lethal Deception, than the latest high-brow fiction or heavy biography? Then Kobo Plus might be for you.

The eBook subscription service is urging readers to fight back against ‘book shaming’ in a new campaign from Toronto agency The Garden called ‘Be a reader, not a follower.’

Rather than touting Kobo Plus as home to the types of books that dominate critics’ annual best-of lists, the campaign leans hard into the service’s reputation as the home of hundreds of thousands of indulgent, binge-worthy murder titles from genres like mystery, erotic fiction, and paranormal fiction, and celebrates the readers who indulge in them.

That includes titles like Bree Dahlia’s 2017 Love, Luck and Clusterf*ck, which is the centerpiece of the campaign’s 30-second hero spot. The spot follows a woman joyfully reading the novel on her dela Kobo dela in a variety of locations. However, each time she attempts to inform curious by-standers of the book’s NSFW title, the ‘offending’ word is bleeped out by nearby sounds such as an espresso maker, a hairdryer, or jackhammer.

The spot concludes with the frustrated woman loudly and repeatedly exclaiming the title’s contentious word, except this time she does so during an after-school pick-up. “It’s this amazing new eBook I got on Kobo Plus,” she sheepishly explains.

“The Garden took us through their strategic workshop, which was invaluable in getting us to fresh, disruptive creative,” said Lindsay Gray, director of brand and product marketing, Kobo. “We were able to completely reframe our challenge and actually turn it into the real strength.”

The video ad is being accompanied by a series of out-of-home and digital ads that highlight the various genres available on Kobo Plus with playful, permissive messaging, including “So what if you cozy up with criminals?” and “It’s okay if exorcism is part of your bedtime routine.”

“Up against the vast resources of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, we needed to stand out not just as an eBook subscription service, but for what Kobo Plus could really own — binge-worthy, guilty-pleasure paperbacks,” said Jenn Munoz, strategy director, The Garden. “We wanted to celebrate the readers who read for the love of it, not for the clout.”

The campaign launched last month and runs through Sept. 4th across TV/OLV, digital and contextual out-of-home. The Garden began working with Kobo in February.

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Client: Rakuten Kobo

Chief Marketing Officer: Marianne Hamilton

Director, Brand & Product Marketing: Lindsay Gray


Agency: The Garden

Chief Creative Officer: Shane Ogilvie

Chief Strategy Officer: Shari Walczak

Managing Director: Dickerson

Creative Director: Lindsay Eady

Creative Director: Francheska Galloway-Davis

Strategy Director: Jenn Munoz

Design Director: Adriana Ivory

Copywriter: Nuala Murray

Art Director: Mrs Suchdeva

Agency Producer: Melanie Lambertsen

Senior Designer/Illustrator: Elijah Kamran

Animator: Kathy Tidy

Business Lead: Reuben Greenspoon

Project Lead: Soraya Bendaba

Studio Director: Jamie Morren

Project Lead/Digital Strategist: Julia Zammit


Production Company: Someplace Nice

Executive Producer: Chilo Fletcher

Produce: Gillian Gardner

Director: Peter Henderson

PDO: Jackson Parrell via SESLER

Production Designer: Jason MacIsaac

Location Manager: Lance Creighton


Editorial Company: Rooster Post Production

Executive Producer: Melissa Kahn

Editor: Chris Parkins

Assistant Editor: Sonny Atkins

Post Production

Post Production: The Vanity

Flame Artist: Kaelem Cahill

Color: The Vanity

Colorist: Andrew Exworth

Audio House: Berkeley Inc.

Creative Director: Jared Kuemper


Casting Company: Mann Casting

Casting Director: Steven Mann

media agency

Media Agency: Cairns Oneil

Managing Director: Tim Hughes

Communications Director: Jennifer Blenkhorn

Communications Planner: Olivera Dragojevic

Digital Manager: Rachel Schmidt

Communications Coordinator: Kaitlin Irving

Genres: dialogue, comedy, people

Categories: books, Media and Entertainment

The Garden, Fri, 05 Aug 2022 10:12:45 GMT


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