Friday, 26 November 2010

Masses go mad for Meerkat author....

A month ago, in yet another spot-on-the-money execution in this now long running campaign, Compare the Meerkat's Aleksandr Orlov launched his new book. Ad character turns DJ (podcasts), turns movie star (3 long form pseudo-movie releases), turns author, what will the meerkat entrepreneur do next?

(Be-warned long post, but my blog is also my car park for useful stuff remember!).

As one has come to expect from this aristocratic meerkat, this was not just another book launch:

First came the Facebook updates talking about a forthcoming book (16th Sept),  and linking to Amazon:
 Then emails from Amazon (as well as CTM)  inviting pre-order in what was clearly a smart piece of targeting.

In the run up to the launch Facebook posts enticed and teased, and pushed to YouTube:

Then a series of Facebook posts / tweets went on to moot a publishing launch in what proved to be a very much a la mode for 2 days only Pop-up shop on London's Regent Street.

Followed by an event (again showing how smartly the team behind this campaign are at mirroring general Facebook users behaviour with Aleksandr's), which no doubt helped them gauge the number of copies they needed to stock.

As ever with this incredibly smart campaign, the shop itself was executed beautifully, as was the surrounding communication which covered Facebook, Twitter, emails and of course the website.

The shop, on the edge of an arcade was beautifully on-theme & full when I dashed in after work one evening:

Downstairs was a "life and times" of Aleksandr and his family taking a museum theme,

...whilst upstairs was decked out mini-cinema style, showing his longer form mini-movies and of course selling his "signed" books.

The PR machine was as ever well oiled too, and I spotted pieces in the Evening Standard on the day of the shop launch:

And with the book topping the Amazon topsellers too, this article in the literary section of The Independent:

Three days after the launch (29th October), Aleksandr's book was at no 2 in the Amazon Topsellers list:

A week later (4th Nov), Aleksandr told his 769.5k Facebook fans, & 42k Twitter followers of the audiobook launch on iTunes: (It's also available on, so multi-platforms covered off).

3 weeks later still and how do things stand?

Well today (26th November), less than a month before Christmas,  a quick dig around some of the e-stores revealed this picture:

Aleksandr Orlov: A Simples Life stands at:

#3 in the Amazon most wished for book charts
#2 in the Amazon most gifted book charts
#3 in the Amazon best sellers (now with 66 days in the top 100 (incl. prelaunch))

Nor is it just an Amazon/iTunes distribution deal...
#2 in the bestsellers & today featured as editor's choice on the books homepage

#4 in the W H Smith books best sellers list

#16 in the Waterstones best sellers list, #36 in and #30 in iTunes audiobook chart.

Not bad for a meerkat of Russian shopkeeping origins!

And there was I about to hit "post" when the following tweet burbled onto my screen inviting Aleksandr's fans to vote via Facebook for which TV execution they should run at Christmas.

Spot on again, engage, invite participation, listen to what the people say.

And yes obviously I bought a signed copy of the book ;-)

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