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Taking the guilt out of guilty pleasures.

The Problem to Solve

Rakuten Kobo is the reigning champ of eReaders. But, while the brand dominated the category when it came to physical devices–their eBook subscription service, Kobo Plus, was stuck in second place next to their main competitor, Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. Backed by Bezos and bigger bucks, Kindle’s catalogue was packed full of buzzy bestsellers and celeb book club picks. A Kobo Plus subscription, on the other hand, unlocked an unlimited supply of erotic fiction, paranormal series, and true crime titles – not exactly the big lit hits that drive subscriptions.

Our Solution

Instead of harping on what Kobo Plus didn’t have, we leaned in – all the way in. Seizing the opportunity to speak directly to readers who were dedicated to bingeable eBooks, our “Be a reader, not a follower” campaign celebrates those who indulge in guilty pleasure genres, like paranormal, murder mystery and erotic fiction. With a national campaign led by our hero TV spot, “Love, Luck & Clusterf*ck” (based on a real Kobo Plus eBook title) and OOH, OLV, digital ads and organic social posts that spoke to Kobo’s top genres, we gave every reader the permission to be proud of what they love to binge, even when it means not fitting in with the crowd. With a 37% lift in brand awareness, 46% lift in purchase consideration, and the first ever year-over-year increase in both trials and paid subscriptions during the campaign period, our readers’ enthusiasm for the campaign came through loud and clear.

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