Barnes & Noble Bets on Big Holiday Ad Campaign to Push Nook

nook simple touch

Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) has unveiled a new ad campaign starring 30 Rock actor Jack McBrayer to push the book chain as a holiday shopping destination with something for everyone, and promote the new Nook GlowLight e-reader.

In an announcement, Barnes & Noble unveiled its “It All Happens At Barnes & Noble” TV ad campaign starring the charismatic and recognizable actor. The ads feature McBrayer shopping at Barnes & Noble for all of the people on his holiday shopping list, showing that at Barnes & Noble shoppers can find something for everyone.

The first commercial in the campaign highlights Barnes & Noble’s large book selection, educational toys, and the Nook GlowLight e-reader — which Barnes & Noble describes as its “lightest eReader yet with a fresh, contemporary design, sharper text, perfectly lit pages, and instant access to a massive selection of more than 3 million titles available at the low price of $119.”

“It really does all happen at Barnes & Noble this holiday season. Our stores offer the very best gifts of the season for everyone in the family and this spot was created to highlight our stores as places of discovery, fun, and easy holiday shopping,” said Glenn Kaplan, Creative Director at Barnes & Noble. “Jack McBrayer brings his usual charismatic personality to the campaign as he masterfully leads viewers through the store in a fun, lighthearted and enthusiastic way that will brighten everyone’s mood during the holiday season.”

The Nook e-readers have not been able to compete against e-readers and tablets made by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). Earlier this summer, the company was plagued by break-up rumors after CEO William Lynch resigned and the company’s largest shareholder Leonard Riggio, made an offer for the company’s retail book unit. At that time, many analysts said they believed a break-up — in particular a spin-off of the Nook unit — would be the smartest move for the struggling company.

But, in August, Barnes & Noble announced that it won’t give up on the Nook just yet after reporting more losses for the quarter. “The company intends to continue to design and develop cutting-edge Nook black and white and color devices. We will continue to offer our award-winning line of Nook products at the best values in the marketplace,” said Nook head Michael Huseby, who’s filling in for Lynch until a replacement is found, at the time.

Value may be the advantage that could save the Nook, if the ad campaign reminds enough people that the device exists. Apple’s new iPad Air starts at $499, and Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HDX tablets start at $299. If you’re in the market for a cheap e-reader this holiday season, Barnes & Noble may be the place to go.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

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