A Date With Harlequin

//  04.03.17


Harlequin sends fictional heartthrobs on real-world dates – and it’s hilarious.

Romance novel giant Harlequin has taken two of their most sensational heroes and brought them to the women of the real world in a humorous new hidden-camera campaign encouraging women to “Make a Date with Harlequin.”

The first of two videos features a larger-than-life Viking on a bowling date with a modern, everyday woman. As the obviously mismatched couple enjoy an over-the-top encounter with one another, the audience gets to enjoy the gobsmacked reactions of the unsuspecting patrons. The second video showcases a cowboy, complete with horse and lasso, on a lunch date with a familiar, relatable woman.

“Harlequin is all about taking our readers on romantic escapes; we loved the idea of bringing that notion to everyday life,” said Farah Mullick, Senior Director of Marketing at Harlequin.

“It was really quite nerve-racking watching from behind the curtain—you just never know how people are going to react,” said Joel Pylypiw, an Associate Creative Director at BBDO Toronto, the agency behind the work. “Luckily for us, we captured some really funny moments.”

The online video campaign launched March 15 and is being supported with a targeted online buy, print ads, dedicated PR and blogger outreach as well as loyalty and event programs.

Harlequin, a Toronto-based company now owned by News Corp, has entertained women with their broad range of intrigue, suspense and romance novels since 1949. To date they have sold more than 6.28 billion books.

About BBDO Canada
BBDO Canada (www.bbdo.ca) manages the communication needs of many of Canada’s largest and best-known brands and has consistently earned a creative reputation that places it among the top creative agencies in Canada. BBDO Canada is a subsidiary of BBDO Worldwide, which is part of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com), a leading global advertising, marketing and corporate communications company.

About Harlequin
Harlequin (Harlequin.com) is a global publisher of commercial fiction and a worldwide leader in romance fiction, with titles issued worldwide in as many as 32 languages and sold in up to 93 international markets. The company publishes more than 110 titles monthly and more than 1,300 authors from around the world. Harlequin is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, the second-largest consumer book publisher, and has operations in 11 countries. For more information, please visit Harlequin.com and Facebook.com/HarlequinBooks. Follow Harlequin on Twitter: @HarlequinBooks.


Client: Harlequin Enterprises
Creative Director, Romance Fiction: Tony Horvath
Senior Director of Marketing, Series & Digital Publishing: Farah Mullick
Director, Romance Publicity & Events: Michelle Renaud
Brand Manager, Retail Marketing: Beth Witkowski

Agency: BBDO Toronto
SVP, Executive Creative Director: Denise Rossetto
SVP, Executive Creative Director: Todd Mackie
VP, ACD, Art Director: Joel Pylypiw
VP, ACD, Copywriter: Chris Booth
Broadcast Producer: Tracey Azzopardi
Account Director: Paul Forrest
Account Supervisor: Zach Kula

Production Company: Circle Productions
Executive Producer: Andria Minott
Director: Timothy Hamilton
DOP: Doug Koch
Producer: Erica Parks
PM: Warren Milando

Post House: Saints Editorial
Executive Producer: Stephanie Hickman
Editor: Stephen Sora

Audio House: Grayson Matthews
Producer: Kelly McCluskey

Casting: Shasta Lutz, Jigsaw Casting