As someone who was intrigued by the I hate Sarah Marshall campaign, if mildly disgusted with the blog, I did a double-take when I saw this google ad for Cathy’s Book:
If you are not familiar with Cathy’s book, it’s an alternate reality game book that was released with much success in 2006. While mostly aiming for teen readers, the plot is engaging enough that many adults have fallen under the author’s spell as well. Learn more at the Cathy’s Book Wikipedia entry.
The ad is likely to get people excited over the second book, Cathy’s Key, which comes out in May. But take a look at the ad. The copy is intriguing and the call to action is clear. The curiosity it created was overwhelming and even this cynical customer had to take a look.
I was presented with well done site, that again hinted at much but gave little away. Take a look at the video that was done.
The whole campaign was beginning to make me think that I would finally be forced to read first Cathy’s Book and then Cathy’s Key.
But, I had to know more. I clicked the ‘chat room’ link and got this page.
At first, I was thinking that this was a grade-A boneheaded move to release an ad with a site that was under construction. But, after viewing this little part, I knew this was part of the campaign.
A little research turned up the answer. Of course, I’m not going to share it with you. Suffice it to say, if you’ve read the book, you’ll know it has something to do with a painting that Emma thinks is worth $600k and that hangs on Victor’s wall. Enough said…
When you are through with the riddle, you can view some of the evidence you got with the book and additional evidence that has ‘since been found’. It also gives you access to the forums, where over 1000 other Cathy’s Book readers can discuss theories.
The overall campaign is really smart, even the makeup deal (read the wikipedia entry), and it’s given teen girls a way to find out about a really cool book. Kudos to the marketing team (and authors). This book is now a must read for this old lady in her thirties.