New Marketing Trends

Marketing Ideas for Non-Profits and Libraries

The M Word helps librarians learn about marketing trends and ideas.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Product placement in YA Books?

The NY Times ran a story today (free subscription required) about what looks to be a new trend for YA novels- product placement. The book is called, "Cathy's Book: If Found Call (650) 266-8233" and if my hunch is right on this, it may very well send YA novels down a very shady path. Basically the story line worked to incorporate a Cover Girl lipstick and from there the marketing spiraled into partnerships and websites and if it works we can all be assured that YA novels will be nothing more than pulp ads for products to appeal to our young girls. Would love to hear some thoughts from our YA librarians on this one.


Anonymous said...

Do you feel this is functionally different than all those Barbie Princess and My Little Pony books that lots of us have in our collections?

Nancy Dowd said...

That’s a good question. Don't you think books that are written as part of the marketing mix are pretty mainstream advertising at this point in time? They go hand-in-hand with the toys, clothing lines, food products and videogames. In my mind, product placement within a novel is a bit different because of the subtle nature of the promotion. Thoughts from others?

Stacy (my friends call me Stasia) Dillon said...

When I read the Times article, I felt vaguely sick to my stomach over it. Books like Barbie and Pony are obviously adds for toys, yet the quietness of product placement in this book seems off. It is written by marketing people, and the whole myspace page, and phone number and all just makes me sad!

Liz B said...

I read & really enjoyed Cathy's Book (my review is up at

The marketing bit is light; I've read more product names in Gossip Girl and Danielle Steel.

What is pretty cool is that the book works extremely well as a true intereactive book; one of the authors writes games, and I guess that is why it worked here.