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Costa Coffee: the best thing for books since sliced bread


Earlier this week the category winners of the Costa Book Awards were announced. Today, I found this video on YouTube – three minutes or so of the winners talking about their books and writing in general. Costa is a coffee shop chain in the UK and I’m very grateful they sponsor these awards and give writers the support they need.

However, the promotional video takes product placement to new heights. In the first minute alone, there are 11 shots featuring something emblazoned with the word ‘Costa’ such as a cup or an arty coffee picture in the background, and I haven’t included any of the title graphics introducing each category winner.

Diana Athill and Sebastian Barry clearly declined to be interviewed in a Costa coffee shop.

“Sorry, love, I only drink tea. Coffee gives me terrible headaches,” I can imagine 91-year-old Athill telling the 23-year-old video producer.

At one point, the camera scans across a beautiful pile of the winning books – why not put circular coffee cup stains on the covers for a bit of reality? It only needed the winners to interviewed in t-shirts printed with the words – “Drink Costa Coffee, not Starbucks” – and the product placement would have been complete.

Anyway, God bless Costa Coffee (And I agree The Outcast by Sadie Jones is a great book).

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Richard Davies

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