In line with its first major rebrand in over a decade, Australia’s number one romance publisher, Mills & Boon, was set to seduce a new generation of romance fans with its latest line of novels, DARE.
Launched internationally ahead of Valentine’s Day, the new range was the brand’s most explicit series yet, filled with intriguing love interests, steamy sexual encounters and riveting storylines. The novels featured strong female leads, in control of their own destiny, and not reliant on a man to complete them.
FORWARD Agency was engaged to introduce a new generation of Australian women, aged 25-40, to Mills & Boon through an engaging and headline grabbing campaign that brought to life the messaging of the sizzling new novel series.
Loved by generations of women internationally for providing an indulgent escape into a world of romance, fantasy and ‘happily ever afters’, Mills & Boon is synonymous with the classic romance novel.
Despite being popular with women aged 45+, the brand had less of a presence with younger women due to the brand’s niche positioning in the romance genre, and the misconception that the stories were tired, didn’t reflect 21st century women, and were more in line with what their grandmas used to read.
To increase awareness and resonation of both Mills & Boon and the new DARE range, the campaign needed to garner media coverage outside the book sections, and avoid falling into the trap of tired clichés. A focus on mainstream media, as well as lifestyle and millennial media publications was the end goal.
In order to appeal to key target media, FORWARD and the Mills & Boon team developed a raunchy new card game – Do You Dare? – as the centrepiece of the campaign.
Launched in the lead up to Valentine’s Day, the fun and revealing game brought the content from the DARE series to life, with fifty tantalising questions designed to stimulate an intimate conversation, helping players to reveal their innermost thoughts and fantasies on romance and sex. A number of hard copies of the game were printed, and it was also made available to download for free from the Mills & Boon Australia website.
To provide first-hand experience of the card game and DARE series, FORWARD seeded samples of the new book series to key media across print, online, radio and TV media.
To ensure the campaign reached not only metro areas but also key regional areas, FORWARD worked with NewsCorp to develop a number of targeted pieces, based on reader data insights, which syndicated across the country. By doing this the campaign was able to reach a large percentage of the population.
FORWARD also worked with a selection of Australian influencers associated with romance, to create a series of social content showcasing the new DARE collection. The influencers were sent the card game and novel range to enjoy with their friends or partners as they created content to share with their followers.