Any Brazilians who hadn't already read Paulo Coelho's famous 1988 novel The Alchemist could do so for free last Monday. All they needed was a copy of that day's Metro newspaper—along with, probably, a powerful magnifying glass.
That's when Saõ Paulo agency Loducca published the entire novel (about 175 pages in the original Portuguese) in a single newspaper spread to celebrate a recent milestone for the book—a total of seven cumulative years on The New York Times bestseller list.
Copy on the ad reads: "The Alchemist. Seven years among the bestsellers in The New York Times. Thanks to the 70 million who read the book. If you are not one of them, read this ad. —Paulo Coelho."
Here's the full ad. Click to enlarge:
Loducca tells AdFreak that the newspaper ad was printed in 4.1-point type. An outdoor version of the ad—with the text in a single giant block, in relatively humane 12-point type—is also running. The 68-year-old author himself was the client on the project.
This isn't the first time Loducca has published a Coelho book in its entirety as a promotional stunt. In 2010, it recreated his book The Aleph with series of tweets on alephtweets.com.
Here's the outdoor ad. Click to enlarge: