DIRECT: MY BEST SHOT

By LIBBY BROCKOFF, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 07 November 1997 12:00AM

w@nk.f@cky.menta//.sh/t// b@ll*cks. That’s generally the response in the UK when you ask people how they feel about the Internet. Most people are frightened to go near it, and would rather be tortured by Mongolian midgets than sit in front of a screen and ’surf’. And justifiably so, because advertising in this sector is a garbled mess of technobabble and Web-waffle, with annoying software cascading out of every magazine you pick up.

w@nk.f@cky.menta//.sh/t// b@ll*cks. That’s generally the response

in the UK when you ask people how they feel about the Internet. Most

people are frightened to go near it, and would rather be tortured by

Mongolian midgets than sit in front of a screen and ’surf’. And

justifiably so, because advertising in this sector is a garbled mess of

technobabble and Web-waffle, with annoying software cascading out of

every magazine you pick up.



VirginNet intends to do for the Internet what Virgin Atlantic did for

air travel - demystify the process and make it relevant to our

lives.



Our task was not only to launch VirginNet but to convince our

grandmothers, and anyone else in the UK, to try it free for one

month.



Faced with this daunting communications challenge, we developed an

arrow.



A simple everything-you-need-to-know unit, pointing people in the

direction of what the Internet can do for them (phone number included,

of course - this is direct response).



Then we let it roam the streets. We found there was nothing you couldn’t

stick it on. Why not a dog, a lamppost, your postman’s forehead or Jay

Pond-Jones’s Prada loafers? The Internet is about everything in your

life.



The arrows are due to appear randomly in Time Out editorial, newspapers,

press ads and throughout Virgin Megastores. Once we had the simple idea,

the media had to become the most creative part. So we pointed the arrow

at John Gittings of Manning Gottlieb Media, who filled in the blanks

brilliantly.



Libby Brockoff is a partner at Mother.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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