Barnes & Noble Founder Created Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett-Starring Holiday Campaign

Courtesy of Barnes & Noble/Youtube

Leonard Riggio asked his longtime friend Tony Bennett if he'd star in the commercial with Gaga after seeing the two perform together.

Barnes & Noble founder and chairman Leonard Riggio, 74, is the creative force behind the company's upcoming holiday ad campaign, featuring Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett.

Riggio recruited the talent and created the concept and slogan, "You never know who you'll meet at Barnes & Noble."

In the commercial, which is online today (below) and set to start airing on Monday, Gaga and Bennett separately walk the aisles of a fictional Barnes & Noble, looking for gifts for each other, as they sing "Baby, It's Cold Outside." They ultimately bump into each other and exchange books.

“I’d been thinking about physical books, digital books, future store concepts, and the essence of what is it about us that makes us who we are,” Riggio told The Wall Street Journal. “The idea of the meeting place, the piazza, is so much of what we’ve become across the country.”

Riggio, The Journal reported, asked his longtime friend Bennett if he'd star in the commercial with Gaga. The Barnes & Noble exec had seen them perform together and enjoyed their chemistry.

“This campaign is like a holiday card from Barnes & Noble to all of its customers," Amy Sacks, co-creative director at Roberts + Langer DDB, which produced the commercial, added in a Friday press release announcing the campaign. "We hope that this little gift of a performance by these two incredibly talented artists will put a smile on people’s faces. We believe that the true warmth and the connection that Mr. Bennett and Lady Gaga share will be something viewers can feel.”

The commercial was directed by Swedish director Jonas Akerlund, who has worked with Gaga in the past.

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