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Romance Novel Maker Harlequin Sends Fictional Heartthrobs on Real-World Dates

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BBDO Toronto created spots for the publisher that put a fresh pair of Harlequin heroes off the page and on the screen

Romance Novel Maker Harlequin Sends Fictional Heartthrobs on Real-World Dates

 After last year’s release of the Make a Date campaign, which resulted in a combined total of over 12 million video views, romance novel giant Harlequin is back again with two new hidden-camera videos.

The hilarious 90-second spots bring a fresh pair of Harlequin heroes off the page and into the real world of dating.

The first video features a brawny Highlander, complete with kilt and sword, at a local pub with his fiery date. The pair enjoys drinks, pool and, much to the bewilderment of the bars’ patrons, even an acappella rendition of a traditional Scottish song.

The second video stars a swoon-worthy prince treating a woman to a romantic picnic in the park. Both videos remind women to Make a Date with Harlequin.

“We were thrilled with the response that our 2017 Viking and cowboy hidden-camera dates received and excited to take on the challenge of creating two new date concepts,” said Farah Mullick, Senior Director of Marketing at Harlequin. “Bringing fictional worlds, characters and romance to life is what our talented authors consistently deliver. Taking fan-favourite heroes off the page and inserting them into real-world scenarios fulfils reader fantasies in a fun way.”

“This year was all about continuing the fantastical romances and introducing some new Harlequin heartthrobs,” said Chris Booth, VP Associate Creative Director at BBDO.

The online video campaign went live on March 6, and is being supported with a comprehensive social media campaign, digital advertising, full-page ads in Woman’s World, themed eBook sales, an email campaign and influencer outreach.

Harlequin, a leading international book publisher, has entertained readers with their broad range of novels since 1949. To date they have sold over 6.28 billion books.

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Music Company: Grayson Matthews

Music Supervision: Rich Hamilton

Executive Producer: Kelly McCluskey

Session Director: Mark Domitric

Engineer: Brian Bernard

Sound Designer: Ben Swarbrick

Production Company

Production Company: Circle Productions

Executive Producer: Andria Minott

Director: Tim Hamilton

DOP: James Klopko

Producer: Erica Parks


Edit Company: Saints Editorial

Editor: Stephen Sora

Producer: Stephanie Hickman

Creative Agency

Creative Agency: BBDO Toronto

Chief Creative Officer: Denise Rossetto / Todd Mackie

Copywriter: Cassandra Shuber

Art Director: Daniela Marino

Strategist: Zach Kula

Producer: Tracey Azzopoardi

VP, Head of Broadcast Production: Beatrice Bodogh

VP, Associate Creative Director: Joel Pylypiw / Chris Booth

Account Supervisor: Hailey Scott


Advertiser: Harlequin Enterprises

Brand: Harlequin

Senior Director of Marketing: Farah Mullick

Assistant Brand and Promotions Manager: Brandie Kirk

Genres: Comedy, People

Categories: Media and Entertainment, Streaming Services

BBDO Toronto, Wed, 21 Mar 2018 15:00:58 GMT