Nothing is
what it seems

A digital legacy for the Harry Potter story, a place to exclusively buy eBooks and Audiobooks... and a way for J.K. Rowling to give something back to her fans.

'So your big idea is there is no big idea?'

'Well, not quite. Nothing is what it seems'.

The launch of Pottermore presented itself as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create the same level of excitement seen during the launch of a new Harry Potter book or film release, but for an emerging digital world. An opportunity to do something different, ambitious and probably unexpected.

 

(...definitely unexpected)

The big idea

The story was complete. The end was reached. The challenge was what to do next.

The big idea was that the magical world already existed on the page but now we all could digitally be part of it.

So the insight? Give everyone the chance to take a personal journey through the story of Harry Potter, to recapture that excitement and to experience the story like never before: book by book, chapter by chapter, moment by moment.

This time we could all be magical.

The solution 

Our solution featured two parts: primarily a community driven, hand painted storytelling experience that enabled our audience to 'live' the story of each book, and to become a student at Hogwarts through integrated gaming and social spaces. Secondly a digital eCommerce shop where the Harry Potter eBooks could be exclusively purchased.

As a co-founder of the digital experience, I lead the strategic plan and proposition, experience direction and customer journey design from pitch to launch of book two in late 2012 of the ground breaking digital brand experience.


Recognition

Probably ahead of its time, The Bookseller awarded Pottermore digital strategy of the year in 2013 "...for phenomenal commercial results achieved through exclusive e-book sales and a clear strategy to deliver a fully immersive experience."

 

It was also listed as one of the 'best 50 websites of 2012' by Time Magazine, and a 2012 Webby Honouree in the Celebrity / Fan category.

Since its launch in April 2012, Pottermore has been a global success with no paid support, being called both publishings 'Radiohead moment' (Wired) and 'Beatles moment' (Bookseller). The site has recently been updated to support new products.

Date: 2010-2012
Agency: TH_NK

Services: strategy, experience design, content strategy, social strategy, launch campaign

Pottermore case study

(3m 39s)

© TH_NK

J.K. Rowling's Pottermore

9m

Registered platform users

30bn

Platform page views

User generated YouTube videos

Correct at end of 2012

More on Pottermore

'I was able to take my time and find the right people. TH_NK have been extraordinary to make this come alive. There was really no other way
to do this for the fans.'

J.K. Rowling

50k

680k

Twitter followers

13m

Fan submitted comments and over 30k user generated artwork submissions

100m

Games played, with over 30,000 hand painted user drawings submitted

© James Deeley 2019

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