Books With Embedded Ads


Daniel Pink helped define it:  the shift from the information age to the conceptual age.  The concept, like the medium, has become the message.  Try something fresh, something that stirs the imagination in an entirely new way.

Books that feature embedded marketing might have to be distributed in a slightly different way.  Offering books with too much advertising embedded without disclosing it to the prospective buyer could discredit the model.  The issue is solved by offering an incentive to the audience.  Sell the books at a discounted price or give them away free.  The consumer audience gets a good read and the medium is born.  The applications are limited only by the imagination of the solution provider, and the act of reading becomes the new venue for advertising.

Having an expanding audience all to yourself is an advertiser’s dream.  “Build it and they will come;” isn't that the phrase?  In this case, the ball park is a creative series of books that can target any audience.

The traditional media channels are clogged with creative and competing ads.  Start with the perspective of the audience, their lifestyles, social customs, applied technologies and a way to reach them subtly and it leads you to their personal reading choices.  Reading material is a private bastion, but one that is shared.  You can reach individuals and you can reach groups, and with the right topics, you can bring them back for more and motivate them to share excerpts or the entire book.

A personal read is there at the audience’s convenience, at a time when their attention is more focused.  Crafted books will expand the distribution of the embedded marketing and it comes from a personal source.  CMC, a new read and a fresh way to share the message!


Is there a new appeal for the audience?  Is there something unique for the mix?  What is it?  In a word – books!  There is a new model for embedded marketing.  It is an imaginative solution that reaches the audience in a novel way.  I’m talking about placement advertising in books.  It has been conjectured that eBooks would become the next medium for brand placement.  To make the act of reading a backdrop for advertising, however, would take connecting some rather disparate dots and matching today’s lifestyles with a model for today’s reader.  Do this and it could be the threshold of a fresh medium for advertising.  Bring together the author, the publisher, the copyright, the content, the ad agency, the new medium and the advertiser and you create the model.

Ads in traditional popular books don’t offer enough flexibility or placement opportunities.  Don’t think of embedded ads in novels or longer reads.  Think of a book series of expressly designed books with short reads, interesting topics and themes that fit today’s connected lifestyles.  The way we read is changing, and with this change the opportunity to develop specially crafted books for embedded advertising is maturing.  How can social media be utilized to broaden the audience and to expand the touches or views of the placements?  Give the reader something to tag and share through email or social media and it could be a natural fit.

Become the author, the publisher and control the copyrights and all you need are the business applications.  A real difference in business and advertising does not come along all that often – this ship is just pulling into the dock.


The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily The University of Texas at Austin.

About The Author

Tony Alonzi

Principal, Captive Marketing Concepts

MBA University of Texas at Austin

Principal in Captive Marketing Concepts, a venture that introduces brand placement in specially designed...


#1 I remember reading children's

I remember reading children's books with advertisements while in the doctor's waiting room. They sent the books out for free. Dr. Suess and all.

#2 Right...this isn't precisely

Right...this isn't precisely analogous, but close. There is a lot below the surface, but at the surface it should be just an interesting read for the audience.

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