Offline Book – is it a mobile ad or a mobile utility? DDBs clever Web-based campaign wins Gold Mobile Lion at Cannes

When a mobile device goes offline, e.g. when a train enters a tunnel, instead of receiving an blank offline page, visitors to participating Websites were shown an extract from relevant books from publisher Math Paper Press. The campaign wanted to remind people that books didn’t go offline, like mobile devices. The technology uses a mobile Web app that mobile publishers could download and add to their site.

It’s a fantastic re-imagining of mobile advertising, showing what can be done with standard, modern Web technologies – it’s bound to be mimicked by both advertisers and mobile sites the world over.

video case study: Offline Book (DDB Singapore)

Creative Execution:

Client: Math Paper Press
Agency: DDB Group Singapore
Category: Mobile Websites and Web apps
Award: Gold Mobile Lion

• ANALOG’ BOOKS IN THE DIGITAL AGE: Math Paper Press is a print publisher. But with everybody reading online, how does a print publisher keep hard-copy books relevant?
• THE MOBILE OPPORTUNITY: Many people surf the Web on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, and lose Internet connection often when they go indoors or underground, meaning: online resources can ‘go offline’.
• THE IDEA: Books never go offline.
• THE WEB APPLICATION: Using a simple HTML patch that alters the existing cache of partner Websites, we substituted standard offline notifications with excerpts from Math Paper Press publications. So when people go offline, instead of an offline page, they get an ‘offline book’. Each instance of lost connection became a surprising reminder of the ‘always available’ nature of hard-copy books. We even directed people to the actual book with a bookstore location at the end of each excerpt.
• ENCOURAGING DOWNLOADS: We created different patches customized with different genres of books. Each patch became a mini Web app that we made available free on a microsite.
• CREATING A MOVEMENT: Next, we invited Websites, blogs, etc. to download the customized Web apps that suit their target audience. Helping them to keep visitors engaged at their URL, even when offline. Thus a simple idea championed by a single client in Singapore has turned into an ongoing movement that any Website or blog anywhere in the world can participate in.
• REVIVAL OF INTEREST: Within a short span of two months since launch, Math Paper Press titles saw an increase in sales. More importantly, store traffic at Books Actually, the main carrier of Math Paper Press titles, increased by over 20 percent, signifying a renewed interest in hard-copy books.
• GROWING MOVEMENT: The Offline Book created widespread interest with Website/blog owners. Early partners ranged from fine arts blogs and design studios to surprising adopters like an engineering site. We’re currently in talks with multiple parties, ranging from a floral distributor to a national heritage site.
• WIDESPREAD REACH: For under $US20,000, we launched a movement that could potentially reach 7 million mobile users in Singapore alone, and 7 billion mobile users worldwide, directly.

• Check out all the Mobile Lions winners at Cannes 2014 with loads of video case studies.

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