Marketing Through The Looking Glass

‘Have I gone mad?’ asked the Mad Hatter.
‘I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers.’ replied Alice,
‘But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.’

Occasionally there are marketing strategies which seem entirely bonkers. But there is always a reason behind their success. In the case of the latest Kickstarter campaign from Litographs, it is all about public participation.

Alice Tattoos

Kickstarter is the ultimate extreme in customer orientation. If these products and ideas do not meet a need in the community, they don’t get the funding and they simply do not happen. But if they do tap into a societal need then they get the funding to go ahead – as Litographs found when they managed to tap into the societal need with their latest campaign for temporary tattoos.

Litographs is a company which specialises in assisting readers with expressing their passion for books. It provides a wide variety of t-shirts, posters and tote bags which feature entire books written out within expressive pictures. These products aren’t out to replace books as you would need a magnifying glass to read some of them and I don’t know how you would bookmark your progress but Litographs acts as a merchandise desk for some of your favourite novels. Now, akin to when you go and see your favourite band, it is possible to return home with some stylised swag.

After the success of their current product range, the company has recently started up a Kickstarter to branch out into temporary tattoos allowing readers to display their favourite quotations across their body without the life-long commitment of a real tattoo. The final range of tattoos will feature offerings from masterpieces such as The Importance of Being Earnest, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Peter Pan, Les Miserables, Pride and Prejudice and Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

But it isn’t purely a one-way ‘we produce, you buy’ set up. Built into this Kickstarter campaign is the opportunity to leave a lasting impact upon Lewis Carroll’s iconic Alice in Wonderland.

The first 2,500 backers of the Litographs’ tattoo project receive the opportunity to become part of an innovative new way of reading Alice in Wonderland through taking their place in the World’s Longest Tattoo Chain. Each of these backers will receive a sentence-long temporary tattoo from the text which will then be photographed and uploaded to the Litographs website creating an entire book written out among tattoos.

This extra level of interaction is enhancing the ordinary Kickstarter value received by backers of assisting in the creation of a product, musical work, artistic creation or innovative idea. Not only are backers helping fund this new literary swag, they are also receiving the opportunity to intimately interact with the company through this once-in-a-lifetime effort. Could this be the new frontier for encouraging people to part with their money when they come across a good idea?

It is certainly working for Litographs who originally set a target of $7,500 for this project to go ahead. Within five days of launching the campaign, the Kickstarter has received pledges from 5,689 backers totalling $37,189 (and they still have 25 days to go!). To meet the huge demand for participation in the project, the company released another 2,500 spots for a imagination of the iconic sequel Through the Looking Glass, but alas, all those places have since been taken as well!

The tattoos were probably going to be popular anyway knowing our love for swag showing off the bands/books/shows that we love. But it is the extra level of unique participation in this project which has caused the massive rush!