friend or foe?

I guess the release date for the last Harry Potter book was announced recently. (Yeah, I saw J.K. Rowling on the news but I wasn’t really paying attention, hey it was the 7 a.m. hour, so I didn’t really comprehend what they were talking about.)

I got an e-mail about it from Borders today, and in it they had this promo sticker thing. [Borders ad for a free sticker with book reservation. Two different stickers, both with the Harry Potter and Borders logos on the bottom, one in purple reading “trust Snape” and the other in orange reading “Snape is a very bad man.”] I thought, that’s pretty good marketing.

Let me explain something. It seems like when I take a class, I suddenly find instances to apply it in real life. During my stat class, or maybe soon after, I took great interest in the polls for presidential outcome. “This poll has a 3% margin of error.” me: “Well that sucks.” Or my Bindery and Finishing class. I started staring at junk mail ads if they were fancier than just slips of paper; I looked more closely at all the books I read, wondering how many signatures were used, what kind of impositioning was used. How about my Consumer Packaging class? (Which involved a bit of marketing.) I found the Microsoft iPod redesign hilarious.

Now? I’m in a Marketing and Sales (for Print) class. Last week I just saw an hour-long show on the Discovery channel about the iPod, which talked some about, yup, the marketing strategy. Sometime in the past week I’ve seen commercials for Blockbuster’s new offering: get movies in the mail just like Netflix, but also have the ability to return the DVD to a store and get a new movie instantly. New market!

Back to the Snape sticker. Who could have thought up that idea? Seriously, books are preordered all the time, and not much advertising goes into it. How many people are going to reserve at Borders over Barnes & Noble or any other bookstore just for the sticker? Brilliant. (I would, except for the fear of looking stupid if I’m wrong. *snrk*)

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