James Patterson | Criss Cross / Ali Cross – Father & Son Promo

A broadcast commercial that shows reading can be the bridge between generations!

The book trailer is about more than just how good the book is (or in this case, how good the books are). It’s about how stories, and by extension, reading, bring people closer together. What’s not to love about that? James Patterson is perhaps most well-known for his Alex Cross thriller series. But he’s also heavily involved in philanthropic efforts to get more people reading. This nationally broadcast commercial brings those two elements of Patterson’s brand to light.

Cross-promoting Criss Cross and Ali Cross created a unique challenge for us. We had two books that were adult and middle-grade, respectively, that our client wanted to release together in a big, cross-promotional event. Now, we’ve made book trailers geared towards horror and thrills, and we’ve made book trailers for kids. But, both at once? That was new.

We cycled through concept after concept that failed to strike an appealing note for both audiences without implying that kids should read Criss Cross–it is very much a book for adults. Finally, we realized that the connection was just the joy of reading. No matter what you’re reading, you can share the act of reading, the love of reading, with others. That’s what this spot is about. 

The shoot took place over two days, and we captured both this spot and it’s female-driven counterpart in that time. Director Jordan Nowlin managed to play up the natural chemistry between our lead actors, and their genuine emotions are key to the success of the spot. Our colorist, Jenn Lee, helped us achieve the sun-drenched look we wanted, and Writer/Editor Cameron Shaw got to flex both muscles in both scripting the voiceover (performed by Trey “golden pipes” Gregory) and crafting the edit it accompanied.

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