June 18, 2008, 12:00 AM

Borders cooks up a thriller of a promotion for its new retail site

Visitors to Borders.com will be able to watch 50 two-minute video episodes describing events leading up to the beginning of Robin Cook’s new thriller, Foreign Body. The last episode will air on the site Aug. 4, one day before Cook’s book goes on sale.

Moving quickly to attract visitors to its new web site, bookseller Borders Group Inc. unveiled this week a deal to show 50 two-minute video episodes on its site that describe the events leading up to the beginning of Robin Cook’s new medical thriller, Foreign Body.

The first two episodes went live yesterday on www.BordersMedia.com/foreignbody. A new episode will be available each day, with the final installment to appear site Aug. 4, one day before Cook’s new book goes on sale. Cook has produced a string of best-selling mysteries dating back to “Coma,” released in 1977.

Borders has teamed up with Vuguru, a media studio headed by former Disney head Michael Eisner, to produce the episodes, entitled “Robin Cook’s Foreign Body: The Prequel.”

“By teaming with Vuguru to offer our customers access to `Foreign Body: The Prequel`-exciting, high-quality digital programming-we are truly elevating the shopping experience for our customers and differentiating our company from our competitors," says Borders Group chief executive officer George Jones. "Now, customers can watch and learn the backstory to `Foreign Body` via these Web episodes on Borders.com before ever reading the book. It`s a great way for readers to catch the excitement of a new release." Visitors can preorder the book at the same web site where they view the web episodes.

"This unique marriage of offline and online content has created exciting new partnership opportunities for Vuguru around the `Foreign Body` series," says Eisner. "We`re thrilled to be in business with Borders, a company that has truly embraced the emergence of digital media and continues to adapt to its evolving landscape." The episodes are also available at Vuguru.com, and a Borders ad appears on the site inviting visitors to pre-order the book.

Short ads for Honda cars appear at the beginning and end of the first two episodes of the series.

Borders launched its new web site last month after selling online through Amazon.com for seven years.

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