Powell’s Books: A Textbook Retailer Since 1971

Portland agency ID Branding has come up with a winning idea for the city’s most famous retailer, Powell’s Books.
According to Doug Lowell of IDB:

The idea is fairly simple on paper (execution was not quite so simple): we create a photobooth-type experience inside the store that lets customers have their picture taken in front of a green screen, and then we fill the background with a shot of the Powells City of Books store front with it’s big marquee. And on the marquee we put the names of the people who were photographed, as if they were among the elite number of authors who’ve had their name up in lights at Powell’s.
And then we email them a link to to get a hi-res file of the image. In return, we ask for their email address. Along with the link to their picture, we also send them a 20% off coupon for shopping at Powells.com.

It does seem “fairly simple on paper,” as Lowell suggests. But let’s not forget that this simple project deftly combines shopper marketing (or experiential), customization, digital, social and the use of a promotional coupon to bring customers back into the store.
See more photos of Powell’s customers on Facebook.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.