Whether or not you admire the literary prowess of E L James you have to admire the sensational marketing success she has had with her ’50 Shades of Grey’ Trilogy.
I’m always fascinated when a product or service captures the imagination of the customer to such an extent that it goes viral and mass market. In just the past month I’ve seen numerous tweets about the book on Twitter, been in pubs listening to the people on the next door table talking excitedly about the book, seen whole walls of the books in airport book shops as well as it occupying prime beside-of-till space in numerous high street retailers. As I write, the three books in the Trilogy occupy the No 1, 2 and 3 spots on the best seller list.
Having read the books, the story is the old girl-meets-rich-and-handsome-guy-who-is-out-of-her-league-and-wins-him-over classic. It worked in Pretty Woman and it has worked here.
But by adding the erotic sex/S&M content, EL James has created the ‘Purple Cow’ which has set word buzzing.
As ever, the message is, if you want to have a marketing success on your hands: Dare to be Different!