Open Shelves


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Presentation Image
Case Film






The global book market is dominated by technologically advanced companies with great

infrastructure, which makes small businesses unable to compete, especially in online sales. This

is the core reason for the struggles of a 90 m2 bookstore that has been operating for 70 years is

in Hungary. The Writers' Shop. Neither in pricing nor in communication are they a match for the

big wheels. The shop nevertheless chose not to switch to mainstream books, preserved its

expert service and friendly atmosphere. In other words, they maintain the reasons that many

writers, poets, actors, and public figures come here. Nonetheless, online sales had to be

boosted one way or another. They were hoping for a solution that would fit the shop's cult spirit

yet makes them competitive on the book market.


The only competitive advantage of the Writers' Shop lies in the fact they are small. Shop

assistants call their customers by name, and the books on display here represent quality. How

did we transform this unique competitive advantage completely absent from major stores into

actual shopping? We proposed that the store manager ask celebrities active in the cultural life

of Budapest to open their bookshelves to the general public, extending the shelves of the

Writers' shop with their shelves. 35 celebrities joined the initiative. The goal was to enhance the

traffic of the webshop through their personal recommendations. This way, people could browse

through the books of the Open Shelves available on the store's website and they could even buy

them. The target group’s journey was almost the same experience as in the bookstore and the

result was the Writers' Shop’s online sales were 910% higher.


Oscar Wilde once wrote: You are what you read. Maybee that is why people when people enter

someone's apartment, they often look around on their bookshelves. So who wouldn't want to

know what famous writers, actors, and celebrities read? We built our Open Shelves campaign

exactly on this hypothesis. And with this with virtually no costs, we generated great PR interest

around the store. Our invited supporters, who joined the campaign willingly and for free, happily

acted as influencers as showing their shelves to the public also portrayed them favorably. With

the Open Shelves campaign, we've achieved that discovering their books and buy them was the

same experience online as shopping in the cult bookstore.


The campaign was launched online with a personal invitation from the store manager, János. In

a Facebook video, he asked the shop’s friends to donate their shelves in order to expand the

store's virtual area. It took no more than 1-2 days for the celebrities to respond and join the

campaign. We photographed their bookshelves within a few days, and we took book review

videos with them. The shelves could be fully viewed in the Open Shelves webshop for a month

(April 2019), and the book review videos were distributed on social media (Facebook, Instagram,

YouTube) and digital CLPs. In just two days, the campaign generated a huge PR hope around the



Thanks to the video reviews, personal memories and shelves, the Writers' Shop’s online sales

were 910% higher than in the same period in 2018. The celebrities took part in the campaign on a

pro bono basis. The Open Shelves also attracted media attention, so earned media went as high

as 200,000 euros.