Giller Prize takes inspiration from fashion to promote this year’s literary event

Who: Scotiabank Giller Prize, with Rethink for strategy and creative.

What: “Book Lookbook,” a campaign promoting the 30th anniversary of one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards, using the language and imagery of fashion.

When & Where: The campaign launched Oct. 11 and runs through the end of the November on the flipbook reader Publuu and the Scotiabank web site. There are also social and digital elements, as well as branch wraps.

Why: The campaign is attempting to speak to a new generation of book lovers by appealing to their fondness for fashion, suggesting that a person’s reading choices can be as emblematic of their personal style as their clothing choices.

“Fashion, like literature, is a medium that calls for self-expression, and our hope is that this intersection expands the world of books to Canadians,” said the Scotiabank Giller Prize’s executive director, Elana Rabinovich.

Scotiabank has been a title sponsor of the Giller Prize since 2005. According to global CMO Laura Curtis Ferrera, “Book Lookbook” is part of  its ongoing attempts to deepen its cultural relevance.

It also recently rebranded Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena as October’s Very Own Arena, after Drake’s lifestyle brand, to mark the hip-hop star’s recent homecoming shows.

How: The creative approach turns a question that is commonly asked of tastemakers at awards shows, “Who are you wearing?” into a more apt question for one of Canada’s premiere literary awards: “Who are you reading?”

Rethink enlisted the photography duo Saty & Pratha, who have created campaigns for a wide variety of fashion brands including Canada Goose, Christian Louboutin, Uniqlo and Vidal Sassoon, for a shoot at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York hotel.

The Lookbook is intended to capture the essence of the Scotiabank Giller Prize through what is described as a “collegiate look and feel,” with a different model for each of the five shortlisted titles. The Lookbook features a synopsis of each shortlisted book alongside the portraits, while viewers can also shop each of the looks.

And we quote: “We know that there are so many ways that Canadians passionately express themselves—we are encouraging readers to think about the statement a book makes about themselves, in the same way they think about their own curated style.” — Laura Curtis Ferrera, global chief marketing officer, Scotiabank

Chris Powell