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Housewives Get Hot and Heavy With Their Books in New Ads for Harlequin Romances


Desperate housewives enjoy illicit entertainment right under their oblivious husbands' noses in this campaign for Harlequin, the romance novel publisher, from BBDO Toronto and Someplace Nice director Pete Henderson.

The campaign, themed "Whatever you're into," is designed to communicate that there's something for everyone in Harlequin's wide range of book series. So, whether you prefer snogging on a washing machine with a cowboy or humping on a couch with a sailor, Harlequin has you covered (because the ads would be even more awkward if the ladies started getting uncovered).

Despite the sudden scare from Fifty Shades of Grey, Harlequin remains the juggernaut in romance publishing, putting out more than 100 books a month in 34 languages in 110 markets. The imprint was bought by News Corp. last year and now operates a as a division of HarperCollins.

With the "Escape the Everyday" campaign, it hopes to rekindle passion for its products among the average woman, who's read only one Harlequin romance novel in the past five years. Also check out the Harlquin website, where you can play a game called "Date, ditch or marry," which is a certainly a racier trifecta than the publisher's official tagline, "Entertain, enrich, inspire."

Client: Harlequin
Agency BBDO Toronto
Executive Creative Directors: Carlos Moreno, Peter Ignazi
Associate Creative Director: Linda Carte
Copywriter: Shiran Teitelbaum
Art Directors: Linda Carte, Alice Blastorah
Account Directors: Martina Ivsak, Paul Forrest
Account Coordinator: Zach Kula
Agency Producer: Aimee DeParolis

Production Company: Someplace Nice
Director: Pete Henderson
Executive Producer: Chilo Fletcher, Estelle Weir
Director of Photography: Jonny Cliff
Editing: Matt Dell, Ricochet
Music/Sound House: Ricochet
Colour: Eric Whipp, Alter Ego
Casting: Shasta Lutz, Jigsaw Casting

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