CAMPAIGN DIARY: Festive treats prove a turn-off for recipients

By MAIRI CLARK, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 18 December 1998 12:00AM

By now, you should all have received your fabulous Top Trumps-styled Christmas cards from BMP DDB.

By now, you should all have received your fabulous Top

Trumps-styled Christmas cards from BMP DDB.



If not, beg, borrow or steal them because they’re inspired.



But despite BMP giving agencies a good name for creativity, the rest of

the ad world let itself down.



Topicality seldom impresses, if only because by the time the joke’s

reached the printer, the laughter’s echoed out of existence. Yet the

AAR’s card which rebrands Father Christmas as a ’Festive Spirit

Consultant’ raised a few smiles.



Many companies that thought they were being really trendy by sending out

yo-yos forgot one crucial factor. Cut corners on the manufacture of your

yo-yos and you look cheap and tacky. No-one wants a yo-yo that doesn’t

yo.



Also, if you’re going to be unconventional, make sure no-one beats you

to it. The Liverpudlian agency which sent out cards reading ’Happy

Valentine’s Day from the agency that thinks ahead’ obviously wasn’t

forward-thinking enough to anticipate a London agency using the same

idea.



It wouldn’t be Christmas if TBWA GGT Simons Palmer’s creative director,

Trevor Beattie, didn’t create a tactical poster. Beattie has produced

one for the poster contractor, Mills & Allen. Proclaiming ’Ho! Ho! Ho!’,

we’re sure it’s meant to mean something deeply profound, but didn’t

Santa Claus do it first?



But top marks must go to Wunderman Cato Johnson and Ginger Media. WCJ

admitted, publicly in its card, that direct marketing is one of the most

convoluted areas of advertising by showing Santa making his list,

checking it twice and then ’overlaying it with geo-demographic data,

applying chaid analysis and propensity to have cheer sorted by postal

codes’.



And, finally, Ginger, which cut corners with its folding rectangular

cubic game that carried best wishes from its three divisions; Ginger,

Virgin Radio and TFI Friday. Thrifty but quirky.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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