This is “Why Launch!?”, section 1.1 from the book Advertising Campaigns: Start to Finish (v. 1.0). For details on it (including licensing), click here.

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1.1 Why Launch!?

Learning Objective

After studying this section, students should be able to do the following:

  1. Recognize the bold new approach for delivering information to today’s college students (aka digital natives) that Unnamed Publisher creates.

Knowledge Is a Flat World

The textbook publishing industry is undergoing staggering change as many traditional business models and practices quickly lose relevance. Peer-to-peer textbook trading networks, online used-book sellers, and a gray market that allows low-priced international editions to displace expensive U.S. texts push publishers to reconsider outmoded ways of delivering content. Likewise, the digital natives who make up our university student bodies (that’s you!) inspire educators to think about the transfer of knowledge in exciting new ways.

How do we best communicate the most current thinking in our disciplines to students who expect up-to-the-minute information at a keystroke and who view educational materials as community—indeed, world—resources that can and should be shared and interactively constructed?

Enter Unnamed Publisher, an innovative, open source publishing company. We’ve created a new kind of text—one premised on the idea that college course material can wield wider influence and be of greatest public benefit as it becomes easily and inexpensively available to anyone with a desire to learn.

Figure 1.2

Knowledge in a Flat World…Choose only what you want. Pay only for what you use.

A new alternative to introductory texts that can cost into three figures and provide information that is extraneous or outdated, Launch! offers a basic text at no cost to students. Instead, we generate revenue through individually priced materials such as discretionary hard copies of the text (for those of you who still like to mark up your book the old-fashioned way), study guides, podcasts and streaming interviews (à la iTunes), user-generated content, advertising sales, and corporate sponsorships.

Learn about Advertising by Learning about Advertisers (Real Ones)

There’s something else that’s really unique and cool about Launch! Welcome to the first advertising textbook written in partnership with a real-life advertising agency. It’s fine to talk about ad campaigns from the past, but we’d rather hear about one from the horse’s mouth—while it’s still happening. We’re going to teach you about the ad biz the way you’ll learn it if you choose to make it your career (and we hope you do). None of that shiny, happy, “talking heads” stuff; we’re going to take the gloves off and show you how a campaign works (and sometimes doesn’t) from the vantage point of the people who have to do it every day. Prepare to Launch!