Launchpad: Marketing on Cruise Control
It seems silly now, but there was deliberation about whether this book would fly at all. After all, ours is a society where the movements of starlets like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton are watched more closely than those of our government leaders. Is there any dirt that has not already been uncovered?
“[An] indication for us was Tina Brown’s book on Princess Diana,” says Baldacci, of last year’s “The Diana Chronicles,” published almost 15 years after Morton’s Diana biography, and a decade after her death and the subsequent media storm. “What was interesting was that it didn’t feel like Tina Brown was going to have anything new to say about Diana. And in a way, it felt like, ‘What can Andrew Morton tell us about Tom Cruise that we haven’t already heard?’ And Tina Brown’s book, of course, just exploded. And once we read [Andrew’s] book, we realized Andrew is not necessarily telling you anything you don’t know. … It’s the way that Andrew put the book together. … Andrew has taken a lot of heat for basically painting Tom Cruise with a bad brush, but the book is actually very admiring of Cruise.”
So the success of Brown’s book served as a bellwether for the success of Morton’s new book.
And despite critical reviews that contend Morton’s tome does not add much to the discussion, the purported impending lawsuit from the Cruise and Scientology camps has helped propel the title to the top of the best-sellers list and the Google News queue.
“We wanted as widespread a media coverage as we could get,” says Baldacci. “Any channel. We were looking for some sort of nighttime news magazine, morning show coverage. And we got it all. We wanted radio interviews. We wanted print interviews. And we got all of that.”