Penguin Random House hired Riot to orchestrate a global publicity campaign for The Secret Commonwealth, the second, darker novel in Philp Pullman’s Book of Dust series. The aim: to reach a broad adult readership by topping the charts on publication and capitalising on the hype around the upcoming BBC One/HBO His Dark Materials series.
Our campaign narrative positioned the book - with Lyra as its heroine and Philip as its writer - as a story for our time: creating tentpole moments, in terms of media and events, that allowed us to cement Philip’s cultural relevance and to showcase the adult themes of the book. We cherry-picked opportunities with known fans and tastemakers - from media outlets including Observer Magazine and The New Yorker to interviewers including Adam Buxton, Cerys Matthews and Zing Tsjeng - and staged a sold-out launch event where stars of the TV series Anne-Marie Duff and Raffiella Chapman joined stage actors Niamh Cusack, Helen Aluko and Dinita Gohil to perform scenes from across Lyra’s lifetime at iconic Alexandra Palace.
The Secret Commonwealth knocked Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments from the top of the Official Top 50 amid the crush of Super Thursday and sold 54,301 copies within the first three days - earning Pullman his second-highest single week of sales after La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One in 2017 - extraordinary for a sequel. The one-off BBC Sounds’ Obsessed With…His Dark Materials - featuring interviews from the launch - has been heavily pushed across the BBC, to over 7 million BBC One viewers on the first weekend alone.
WHAT WE DID
EVENTS · COPYWRITING · MEDIA RELATIONS · STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT · TALENT MANAGEMENT . STAGE MANAGEMENT