A Book With A View
What was the Web site you created and how did the videos tie in to Crichton’s book?
Yamaguchi: The Web site [www.Nextgencode.com] is [for] a faux genetics company called Nextgencode, and it was a way to feature elements in the book [including] the science of genetics in a humorous/future-is-now kind of way. The online videos were commercials for Nextgencode—one featured fat soap, another the gene for blonde hair. There’s also a commercial for a Bug DNA Kit, as well as a cure for anhedonia [the inability to experience pleasure from normally pleasurable life events such as eating, exercise, etc.]. The biggest hit was the commercial for perma-puppies, puppies that never grow up. These videos served to give depth to the online campaign, and they were just entertaining in a provocative way. Is this real? Is this just around the corner? It helped to push people into thinking about the issues addressed in “Next.”
The best part about the videos is how we were able to use them all over the place. We used them on the Nextgencode.com site, but we were also able to put them up at YouTube.com, use them at HarperCollins.com on the home page and on the feature [page] we built for the book. We were able to give them to online retailers. Even the media picked up on the videos, and they were shown on [several] morning shows. It was just great exposure for the book. The company we tapped to build the campaign—Honest—did an amazing job.
So the more we pulled our promotional and marketing levers (banner ads, newsletter mailings, outreach to Crichton fans), the more attention the online campaign got. And, of course, that just meant more coverage of and interest in the book. BB