Ciro Sarmiento Books A Trip
By Alixandra Rutnik on Jun 22, 2020
One Club Member encourages us to find a vacation in a book
During lockdown, we asked our One Club Members to share their recent projects with us, and we received A LOT of great responses – We love to see what our members have been up to, so don't forget to send us your cool work post-quarantine too!
Ciro Sarmiento, Chief Creative Officer at Dieste and One Club Member tranformed iconic Dallas bookstore The Wild Detectives into an international travel agency. You can now travel anywhere this summer– from the chaise by the pool to a candlelit bubble bath. Books instantly transport you somewhere else – they have that power. Thanks to Ciro we now have the details on what it takes to gobookatrip.com.
This is such a clever idea for a bookstore, especially now since the summer is beginning and people will be looking for some good (beach) reads and traveling less than usual. What sparked this campaign?
It’s been a wonderful journey for our client (The Wild Detectives) since the campaign launched. And more than advertising, the act of simply shifting its business model from a physical bookstore to an online travel agency was admirable and such a big move for a small brand. In this current context, we thought small brands could no longer afford to take risks like this one, yet, you see a locally-owned business doing something bold and unexpected. I truly respect that.
What first started as an effort to encourage reading and experience different cultures evolved into something bigger during the pandemic. Our client needed a pivotal event – an act that could save their business. We came up with the idea of hacking travel advertising online, but then, it became an urgent necessity to survive without an in-person experience.
The change caused many reactions. All positive from a marketing strategy, but there were thousands of fans and followers of the store who panicked when our client announced with one Facebook post that the bookstore was no more. We can all see now how creativity helped their business during a crisis, increasing sales 200% within a week! Despite limitations, they looked at adversity as an opportunity to spark ingenuity.
Many of the books being highlighted by this campaign are ones most people haven't heard of. Has this helped to sell books that normally wouldn’t have received much attention?
Yes. From a marketing perspective, there is a niche for “multicultural readers,” and from a social perspective, one of Wild Detective’s purpose as a brand is always to encourage reading, an invitation to explore new worlds, to have a different perspective through books. Now more than ever… (I can’t believe I just said that) the offering is to enrich your point of view by traveling. Instead of spending thousands of dollars to go to Cancun and take a selfie, why not pay $15.99 and travel to Puerto Rico in the comfort of your own backyard.
Do you plan on keeping this project alive and expanding your destinations over the summer?
The plan is to keep updating the platform, adding new destinations as new books arrive. Summer will be a key window opportunity for music, literature, and arts. People will need leisure and to find ways to deal with anxiety, in my opinion. We never imagined experiencing something like this until it happened, and it’s been weird. So yes, we believe ideas like BOOK A TRIP can give people positive tools to get through it.
"Instead of spending thousands of dollars to go to Cancun and take a selfie, why not pay $15.99 and travel to Puerto Rico in the comfort of your own backyard."
How has the “travel” experience been received by your customers?
There is not yet a section where people can write reviews, but customers are using their own social media channels to post pictures of their “travels” (the covers of the books they’d purchased) and sharing their destinations with their followers.
What is your favorite “destination” right now?
Paris. From the eyes of Cortázar. Hopscotch (or Rayuela, in Spanish) is a good read for me right now, mostly because I feel like a stranger everywhere I go. I am sure it is a pandemic affect, which makes us experience things as if they are unreal, unpleasant, uncomfortable, and not as tangible. My plan is to read books by Colombian authors too… in 2020, it will be the only way to visit the places where I grew up!
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