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Our Harry Potter Year 7 book has been delivered! A look at the marketing side of the saga.

Please note: No plot line or other story-related info regarding Book 7 is  revealed in this article:
My wife is a Harry Potter fan(atic). I personally haven’t read any of the books, but I’ve enjoyed the movies (I’ve seen the first four thus far).

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This morning at about 11am, the final book in the series arrived: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. A warning notice in red on both sides of the box clearly stated: “ATTENTION MUGGLES – DO NOT DELIVER OR OPEN BEFORE JULY 21!”

I think that the Harry Potter books are a great example of the power of the written word. It’s fantastic to see so many children being energized by the story, and I would expect that the popularity of the books will help kids to discover other written works. Many movies, like the Potter series, are adapted from books, and according to my wife, the most recent movie (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) was a near perfect match to what she was “seeing” in her mind as she was reading the book.

I also see the Harry Potter series as a great marketing case study. From the initial licensing for the book’s rights by Random House, to the movie adaptation, video games, character ice cream cakes, merchandise, unofficial podcasts (just do a search for “harry potter podcasts” on your favorite search engine) and many other related items, it is a story similar to Star Wars. And let’s not underestimate the power of the launch date. I flipped on my TV set this morning to see a feature on CNN with a group of 7 to 70 year old kids at a Barnes and Noble book store as the clock struck 12:01 AM (well past most kids’ (and adults’) bedtime). I give them credit for being able to get so much PR, and I think that other publishers can learn from the Harry Potter franchise.

In the package that we received, a few pieces of advertising were included. There were two cards: one for Seagate (a 10% discount code was included for any of their FreeAgent products) as well as a promo for two movies: Stardust and The Spiderwick Chronicles (coming to theatres in 2008). On the back of the order receipt was an ad for Windows Vista, Windows Live OneCare and Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium. Advertising inserts are common with virtually all book deliveries I’ve received from Amazon.com, and I think it is smart marketing, especially if they offer coupon codes, and as long as there are not more than a few advertising pieces in the package.

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Maybe, when my forthcoming book on inkjet printing is printed and delivered, I’ll have time to relax and read the whole Harry Potter series (if so, probably from Year 7 to Year 1–that could just make it the ultimate prequel adventure).

Related Link:
Harry Potter 110 Question Trivia Quiz
Sponsored Links

The main Harry Potter page on Amazon.com

Current price for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) on Amazon.com ($17.99) as of 7/12/2007.

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