Branding in Books: King of Denial

Sincere apologies for not having posted in a while.

The delay has been down to me being rather busy in the background with revisions of my novel manuscript and other works, as well as the various business aspects related to these.

Not least of these related aspects has been the ongoing (and hopefully soon-to-be-finalised) negotiations for publication.

As you’ll have read in my other posts, this aspect has taken a little longer than anticipated because the actual digital publication of my work across various mobile platforms/devices et al is proving to be so innovative and unique as to be unheard of.

And new ideas, of course, tend to take more time and nurturing; ones that don’t yet exist and are without any real precedent, well, they take a little longer still.

Another related aspect I am of course pursuing is the branding-in-books idea that I’ve written about ad nauseam (pun intended) in other posts in the side bar.

There still seems to be resistance to the idea in certain quarters. The frankly odd reaction I’ve been getting along the lines of, ‘branding in TV and films (and increasingly games) = good … branding in books = evil’ still continues to baffle me. But there you are.

I am not quite certain why my marketing ideas seem to represent the nadir of literature – nay western civilisation by some hysterical and rather disproportionate accounts – in the vain and mercenary pursuit of profit, but I’ll take it as a compliment.

I’ve also used it as the inspiration for the branded poem included below. (Kind of ironic, if you think about it – and I do like irony.) I hope it entertains as you await from my end more news and stuff to read.

The below poem, “O! My Kingdom for a Branded Nike Ad”, is a branded allegorical piece (a new genre if ever there was one) and follows on from my article Branding in books: click here for a practical example. It is meant to be funny and make a point.

Those astute readers amongst you with a taste for high fantasy adventure, Edward Lear’s nonsense poetry and, er, Nike sportswear will note that the ‘king’ in this particular poem represents branding ‘experts’ and the marketing industry in general (vis-à-vis branding in books). The king in the poem, having grown fat and rich from his allegiance with evil branding merchants throughout his heavily branded kingdom prefers to sit loftily upon his commercially adorned throne and deny the fact to all and sundry lest he be accused of ‘selling out’.

Disclaimer: Any similarities in the below work of fiction to any branding expert, living or dead, who denies branding in books is commercially or creatively viable is, of course, purely unintentional.

“O! My Kingdom for a Branded Nike Ad”


In a mythical land far, far away,

A brand-obsessed king

let his kingdom fall

for a pair of Nike Free Run Shoes,

a Nike Legacy Swoosh Cap,

and a Nike logo football.


He was dressed head to toe

in Nike printed sweats

and a Nike 6.0 Dri-FIT tee,

“Its product placement!”

cried the townsfolk with ire,

“That’s what it be!”


To which the king coolly waved

a Nike Dri-FIT-gloved hand and tersely replied,

“Just listen to you jealous commoners cry:

“‘Branding! O! You’ve sold out!’ Me?

“Pah! Who said anything about Nike?

“Innovative marketing you falsely decry!”


The trendily dressed king merely tut-tutted,

Adjusting his sleek Nike Veer Shades,

“Adidas or Quicksilver,” he chided,

“Reebok, Puma or Converse,”

“Well, yes, those superior brands

“my court may have humbly abided.”


“But Nike? O!” he roared. “Never, I say!

“Nike! Ha! That brand? Not blimmin’ likely”

He tugged at his Nike 6.0 Logo Fitted Hat,

“O no! I’d never ever—EVER—sell out,

“Not even … not even …

“Well! Not even for the engineered Dri-FIT fabric and ultra-tight compression fit of the new Nike Hyperwarm Pro Combat.