Ad of the Day: Nook

Mullen crafts pleasingly simple set pieces for the Barnes & Noble e-reader

Escape into a corner, and get wrapped up in a great book.

That's always been the message implied by the name of Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader. It might not be the flashiest device in the category, but it does have the most sensible and evocative branding. Now, a new campaign from Mullen is playing up that advantage by pairing the tagline "What's your Nook?" with a series of simple 15-second vignettes that, taken together, illustrate the range of worlds in which the tablet can help you immerse yourself—traveling, inventing, cooking, etc.

The common visual thread is an overhead view of a tabletop where a Nook has left a rectangle outline in the middle of scattered topical objects—arts and crafts beads, for example—where the Nook's owner has placed it for reference, at the center of a pet project. The camera takes a quick pan right for a pseudo product demo (the screen images are simulated) while a voice reads copy supporting the subject matter. In the case of the aspiring artist, for example: "Be inspired. Take a break. Have some fun. Learn and make. What's your Nook?"

The sing-song rhythm extends throughout the series, including the clips clearly aimed at older adults—like gardening. That's apparently a trap Mullen likes to walk into, despite the fact that the effect can be cloying (or just plain weird). "What's your …" taglines also tend to be pretty hackneyed. "Nook," though, is a nicer payoff than most within that structure—it points more directly to the product than, say, a "wild rabbit" does to cognac.

Overall, the spots are calm and inviting, and they succeed in tying Barnes & Noble's e-reader to a nice sense of possibility, to the physical world, and to the history of reading books as a deeply personal, exploratory activity—rather than a technological phenomenon. Plus, that's a less obnoxious message than the sniping about features from the Amazon Kindle's ice queen.

Client: Barnes & Noble
Product: Nook
Agency: Mullen, Boston
Chief Creative Officer: Mark Wenneker
Executive Creative Directors: Tim Vaccarino, Dave Weist
Associate Creative Director, Art Director: Brian Leech
Associate Creative Director, Copywriter: Allison Rude
Executive Director of Integrated Production: Liza Near
Producer: Mary Donington
Production Company: Anonymous Content
Director: Malcolm Venville
Executive Producer: Eric Stern
Producer: Scott Kaplan
Director of Photography: Jason McCormick
Editing: PS260
Color Correction: Company 3
Visual Effects: Brickyard VFX
Music: Human
Audio Post: Soundtrack