CAMPAIGN DIRECT: REVIEW (IN ASSOCIATION WITH ROYAL MAIL)

In the direct marketing village, gossipy neighbours lean over the fence and chat about the latest rash of start-up agencies. Why did no agency planners get their names on the door? Why are all the creative directors called Steve? Why did none of them choose a daft, one-word name, like ... Palaver?

In the direct marketing village, gossipy neighbours lean over the

fence and chat about the latest rash of start-up agencies. Why did no

agency planners get their names on the door? Why are all the creative

directors called Steve? Why did none of them choose a daft, one-word

name, like ... Palaver?



With this in mind, we thought it would be fun to guess what kind of

agency produced the work. A so-called hotshop that’s just designed its

letterhead?



A more established creative big-hitter? Or one of the old school?

(Campaign didn’t tell us who did the work.)



First, Vauxhall Tigra. The brief seems to have been ’Wrap a

lead-generating mailing around that 48-sheet of the Tigra with a

squashed fly on the windscreen and the headline ’it’s what he would have

wanted’.’ Our creative brethren tried very hard. Instead of a

conventional format, we have a letter-less one-piece leaflet rolled up

in a transparent tube. A humble fly becomes a whole theme, with buzzy

puns and an ironic starburst on a fly-swatter.



But, in the end, this mailing seems to be trying too hard -suggesting a

well-established, mid-sized agency desperate to lift its creative

profile.



Next, Centrepoint. As one of us has actually given money to this

charity, we’re pleased to see the cost-effective format, which takes the

reader step by step through a harrowing story to an horrific conclusion.

Somehow, we felt let down by the punchline. Maybe there was a better

idea buried in the direct quotes from the homeless and the police. And

long line-lengths make the copy a tad difficult to read. But as Craik

Jones doesn’t even have a charity account, it seems especially churlish

to nit-pick.



And who produced the Centrepoint mailer? Perhaps one of the ’first wave’

agencies. Famous name. International network. Big billings. East of

Soho, maybe. But still giving upstarts a run for their money at the

creative awards.



Now, Virgin Direct. And the direct marketing actually lives up to

everything you hope for from this famously consumer-friendly brand. A

single-minded proposition, ’life insurance made easy’, turned into a

very engaging communication with beautifully simple, fresh and charming

illustrations. Again, a letter-free, one-piece brochure in a transparent

outer. Is this a trend? Who did the Virgin pack, our favourite from the

Campaign Jiffy bag? A creative hotshop off to a flying start? Or a smart

agency that’s been around for some time and can occasionally indulge its

clients and creative teams?



We left One 2 One until the end. Because Campaign told us to be

’constructive’.



And we couldn’t think of a single positive thing to say. Judging by the

formulaic approach, we assume this agency must be very old and

tired.



But, like the rest of our speculations on the origins of the work, we

wait to be proved spectacularly off the mark!





CREDITS

VAUXHALL TIGRA

Brief: Reflecting the above-the-line approach, encourage a test drive by

emphasising its good looks

Agency: GGT Direct

Copywriter: Helen Law

Art director: Rachel Sharman

CENTREPOINT

Brief: Alert donors to the dangers facing young homeless people in

London and generate donations

Agency: Grey Direct

Copywriter: Diane Messidoro

Art director: John Treacy

VIRGIN DIRECT

Brief: Liberate the Virgin promise of simplicity in an emotive way

Agency: Limbo

Copywriter: Simon Antenen

Art director: Phan Antonio

ONE 2 ONE

Brief: Acquire high-value existing mobile users from the small to

medium-sized business community

Agency: WWAV Rapp Collins

Copywriter: Paula Jarvis

Art director: Jude Chandler



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