Specsavers & Penguin’s Co-Created ITV3 Crime Thriller

Specsavers is activating its sponsorship of ITV3’s Crime Thriller Awards and its new Crime Thriller Book Club by linking up with publisher Penguin on a consumer co-created crime fiction novella.


The #YouDunnit campaign, created by Manning Gottlieb OMD, sees the optical brand ask consumers to come up with plot ideas for a new crime thriller.


Consumers are being asked to simply use the campaign hashtag to tweet suggestions for the foundations of the story: from the crime itself, to the setting and the hero.


The brand will then select the best suggestions and hand them to three crime thriller novelists, each with their own style and standing in the genre, who will write their own stories using those consumer ideas.


The three Penguin authors are best-selling crime writers Nicci French and Tim Weaver, plus recent debut novelist Alistair Gunn.


Each author will use the consumer co-created framework and details to produce three original stories.


An ebook featuring these stories will be given away for free from mid-October.


Fans are also being invited to suggest titles and cover designs.


The mechanics of the campaign roll out see Specsavers itself tweeting daily from Monday 16 September to Friday 20 September using the hashtag #youdunnit and asking for plot suggestions.


The first day is essentially a Twitter ‘call for entry’ for details about the crime itself: the actual crime, the victim’s name, what was left at the scene?


Each subsequent day the brand will ask for further details such as who the hero is, what happened in their past, where and when the crime took place etc.


To further encourage engagement, Specsavers is also handing out daily prizes to the tweeters whose idea are picked each day.
Specsavers is also pushing the initiative across its other platforms from its Facebook page to its website.


‘Three outstanding writing talents have been selected to contribute to the venture,’ says Penguin Marketing Manager Tim Broughton. ‘It will be fascinating to see them apply their own individual writing styles to the narrative framework created by the crime fiction community online.’


The new campaign is timed to promote the launch of ITV3’s new weekly Crime Thriller Book Club TV show – which is sponsored by Specsavers.


Each week the new series will be led by an expert or celebrity who will pick and critique selected crime thrillers. The initial six titles are chosen by Amanda Ross of Cactus TV – who previously created The Richard & Judy Book Club.


‘We’re looking forward to seeing ideas from crime readers for the #Youdunnit experiment,’ says Ross. ‘To have much of the plotting taken out of our hands could be a blessing or a curse – time will tell.’


The campaign also promotes the 2013 Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards, which will take place in London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on 24 October – a ceremony which will see who walks away with the biggest prize in the international crime thriller scene.




The sponsor’s activity as part of a wider commitment to supporting literacy that began three years ago.


Specsavers built its wider literacy strategy after research showed the tendency of people to realise that they needed glasses when straining to read.


Its sponsorship in this arena has ranged from a 2011 initiative which saw the optician give every customer who had an eye examination a free book as part of its TV Book Club Summer Read campaign, to backing the National Book Awards.




Specsavers #YouDunnit Campaign Website



Specsavers Twitter Feed



Specsavers Facebook Page



Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards






Nicci French



Tim Weaver Books



Alastair Gunn



National Book Awards



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