I’ll be the first to admit that A LOT of things get me irrationally excited. One of those things is creative and innovative marketing. Remember earlier this year when dragon shadows started to pop up all over the place, heralding the return of Game of Thrones? How about the giant gnarled zombie hands that appeared one day in Union Station in Toronto? Every day the hands lost a finger in the countdown to The Walking Dead season 3 premiere.
Yesterday morning, two basically blank full page ads appeared in the New York Times. The stark contrast of all that white space juxtaposed against the day’s news was nothing if not eye catching. The lone URL on the page, wordsarelife.com, takes you to the website for the film adaptation of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
If you’re unfamiliar with the novel, The Book Thief follows Liesel, a young girl in WWII Nazi Germany who begins to steal books from war torn areas where book burning bonfires are a regular occurrence in the streets. As she learns that words can be used for good and evil, her love of books begins to transform her life as well as the lives of those around her.
With that in mind, the message of the book, film and advertising campaign seem to echo off the blank pages of the newspaper: Imagine a world without words. People are debating whether or not the ads are actually clever. I think the bigger point is that people are talking about them. They’re working and I think they’re genius.
If you haven’t already read The Book Thief, I highly recommend it. I read it this summer and it’s one of those books that digs itself inside of your heart and stays there. It’s haunting and beautiful and amazing. The movie hits theaters November 8th and I’ll definitely be one of the first in line.