October 31, 2018

The Dark Arts of PR and Murder Mysteries

As the clocks go back, the dark nights draw in and Halloween’s ghosts and ghoulies haunt the night buses, we at Unity have been cooking up a devilish potion to transform our home security client, ADT, into book publishers – we tried turning them into frogs first, but newt’s eyes were in short supply.

Despite police forces acknowledging security alarms are ‘undoubtedly the most effective deterrent against burglary’ more than 70% of UK homes don’t have home security[1]. Many of us retain the mistaken notion – that it could never happen to us, burglaries belong in murder mystery books.

We considered some of our favourite crime novels and how the villains always take advantage of conveniently unlocked doors or open windows. More pertinently how security alarms seem not to exist in fiction and if they do, they can be disarmed by removing the battery as you might a smoke alarm.

Of course, ADT showing up in a crime novel might make the narrative significantly shorter. So not wishing to remove the thrill from thriller and leave the reader scratching their head asking ‘er… what’s that all about?’, we enlisted the creative talents of bestselling crime writer Sophie Hannah.

Sophie went about weaving subliminal home security messaging into her latest work; A Dark Time, which the Clouseau’s among you may have noticed the first instance of. No spoilers here, but the short story takes place shortly after the clocks go back, as unscrupulous characters take advantage of the darker evenings to carry out their dastardly plans.

Although exaggerated, the darker nights do present a genuine home security issue – after all, our research showed that 69% of home thefts take place between November and February. We decided to shed some light on this – pun intended – by hosting a book launch for media and influencers on the week the clocks went back with an expert panel of novelists, writers and of course ADT. This acted as the Trojan horse to reveal ADT as the publishing house – positioning them as the experts in residential security to the influential book lovers in attendance and wider population.

Being willing and agile enough to transform brands to meet the requirements of different mediums and interests is something we take great pride in. Having ADT break conventional communication channels demonstrates their readiness to tackle new challenges, exactly the kind of attitude we should demand from the people protecting our homes!

Set your alarm, get into bed and read Sophie Hannah’s novel here: www.ADT.co.uk/adarktime

Joe Garbow, Unity Account Assistant (whose favourite crime fiction novel is Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth)

[1] https://cocoon.life/blog/burglar-alarms-make-your-home-safer/