The Annual 2006: Top 10 direct mail campaigns

1. LAND ROVER DEFENDER

It's hard to imagine a set of thick black cards held together by four heavy-duty bulldog clips winning a D&AD Pencil and a Campaign Direct silver, but that's what this campaign from Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel did this year. The pack sought to highlight the Land Rover Defender's constant four-wheel drive feature. Copy on the front delivers the killer line: "Permanent four-wheel drive guarantees more grip," which explains the idea succinctly.

Agency: Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel

Writer: Vaughan Townsend

Art director: Jo Jenkins

2. MICROSOFT WINDOWS MOBILE

It's too early to tell how well this will fare at the awards, but this latest execution for Microsoft is yet another shining example of how to create great work for an unsexy client. Following on from last year's "bolt-on" and "duster" campaigns, a square of lawn arrives in a box with the copy: "A sample of your new office carpet is enclosed." On opening the lid, text explains how, with Windows Mobile, the park can be your office.

Agency: Harrison Troughton Wunderman

Writer: Vaughan Townsend

Art director: Matt Williams

3. VIDEO ARTS

This attention-grabbing mailing promotes how Video Arts seized upon the popularity of BBC2's The Apprentice by launching a series of training DVDs based on the programme. The idea originates from Sir Alan Sugar's catchphrase: "You're fired." The mailing arrives as a fake P45 in a brown envelope, addressed to the recipient. Inside, the form explains that Video Arts' new training programme means fewer people will be handed their P45s.

Agency: Partners Andrews Aldridge

Writer: Helen Sharp

Art director: Carole Eppleston

4. TELEWEST

This Campaign Direct silver-winning letter used large spaces in copy to communicate how slow dial-up internet connections are compared with cable broadband. The campaign made great use of the letter format, which returned to popularity last year, and achieved response rates of 2.88 per cent, exceeding the response rates of previous direct mailings by 55 per cent.

Agency: Rapier

Writer: Liz Franklin

Art director: Rob Ferrera

5. TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY FOR SCHOOLS: SCIENCE

This mailing is an example of how powerful the direct mail medium can be in the right hands. Draft London (now DraftFCB) developed a series of mailings to attract teachers to science subjects. This one, which focuses on physics, was sent to 12,000 science graduates in the hope of encouraging them to apply for training. A penny is attached to the front of the envelope, which carries the line: "How fast does a penny drop?"

Agency: DraftFCB

Writer: Drew Forsyth

Art director: Aubrey Laret

6. MOET HENNESSY

This work has been accused of being too good to be an insert. To promote Hennessy Fine de Cognac to affluent young drinkers, record sleeves and gift bags were placed in titles read by men and women. The idea was based on the line: "Enjoy the moment," and asked recipients to enter a competition and win £10,000 to create their perfect moment.

Agency: Archibald Ingall Stretton

Writer: Chris Lapham

Art director: Debs James

7. NATIONAL PHOBICS SOCIETY

Although this went to a tiny audience, many in the industry marvel at how original it is. To raise awareness of obsessive compulsive disorder, journalists were sent computer keyboards and invited to write an article about OCD, but all the keys had been arranged in alphabetical order. Another contained the recipient's most recent article, with all the Os coloured in.

Agency: Harrison Troughton Wunderman

Writer: Nigel Webb

Art director: Richard Kenyon

8. VIRGIN HOLIDAYS

Printed on red card, this campaign features comic-style drawings highlighting how easy it is to book and travel with Virgin. The pack includes a cardboard cut-out of a helicopter with a phone number and a web address, and invites respondents to enter a competition to win a free helicopter ride around Las Vegas.

Agency: Kicatt Nohr Alexander Shaw

Writer: Ben Golik

Art director: Phil Wyatt

9. HARINGTONS

This was part of a campaign to encourage lapsed customers to return to the hairdressers. This simple, brilliant mailing is a postcard with a mirror on one side. At the bottom are the words: "Appointment reminder." The idea is that when people look at themselves in the mirror they will be reminded that they need a haircut.

Agency: Partners Andrews Aldridge

Writer: Dominic Corp

Art director: Jake Rusznyak

10. REFUGE

Purists might say this is not strictly DM, but it deserves a mention for being such a powerful idea. The campaign comprised two elements that aim to raise awareness of domestic abuse. The first part was a blemish concealer with the text: "Tested on women by animals." "Recommended for keeping up appearances" was written on the side. The other was a box of fruit. Each piece bore stickers bearing the message: "Stop the bruising."

Agency: Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel

Writer: Rebecca Rae

Art director: Olu Falola.

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