Procter & Gamble has signed a marketing agreement with the publisher of a new “interactive” novel to promote its Cover Girl make-up brand.
In a move described as an extension of product placement into the literary world, P&G has struck a deal with The Perseus Book Group to promote its products in the forthcoming Cathy’s Book.
P&G is not paying the publisher a fee, but will promote the book on its Beinggirl.com website in exchange for having Cover Girl products woven into the narrative.
Cathy’s Book was written by fantasy novelist Jordan Weisman and games developer Sean Stewart. The plot follows 17-year-old Cathy Vickers after she is dumped by her boyfriend and tries to find out what went wrong.
As the novel progresses, readers are provided with working mobile phone numbers and website addresses that establish fictional people, places and companies.
Readers can Google the company names and dial the numbers to retrieve voicemail messages, in a move that Perseus claims will enhance their experience of the story.
The deal came after Weisman’s agent showed the manuscript to P&G marketers working on Cover Girl and Beinggirl.com brands.
They offered to promote the book if Cover Girl could be incorporated into the narrative. For example, a reference to a brand of lipstick was changed to “Lipslicks”, a Cover Girl product.