Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Britain Packages Books in Disturbing New Way

Penguin, HarperPerrenial, and the UK's Waterstone all took a stab at drawing in a new audience for the classics, as you might remember from an earlier post here on RBtL. Now, another British publisher is giving it a try. But this time, the tactic is, well, plain twisted in my opinion.

The Huffington Post recently filled readers in on Tank Books and their new "Cigarette Pack Books":

Smoking has become less and less publicly acceptable in recent years, from the ban in restaurants and bars to the outcry against cigarette advertising, but one British book publisher has used smoking's continued popularity as a new way to package and market books.

Tank Books has released a line of classic literature packaged in cigarette packs. The set of ten includes greats like Heart of Darkness, The Metamorphosis, and Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, and the company boasts, "TankBooks are for people on the move, lovers of literature and connoisseurs of design. Try one and you'll be hooked."

Why cigarette packs? Tank Books declares that "The flip-top cigarette pack is one of the most successful pieces of packaging design in history. TankBooks pay homage to this iconic form by employing it in the service of great literature."

See the article HERE

It sounds to me like Tank Books is really reaching to justify themselves on this one. They're using a common vice and milking it for all its worth, and they've got to know it.

Sure it's eye-catching and a "fresh" idea, but let's not encourage a habit that has been proven to kill, shall we?

What do YOU think about this new tactic?

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