’Bastards!’ we muttered when we first came across the Mercedes SLK
48-sheet poster with a shot of the car, the 0800 number and the copy
’Lines may be busy’.
’Bastards!’ we groaned when we saw the Volkswagen ’double-checked’
commercial on the reel of Cannes Lions 1999. (The one where the quality
control chap ticks the boxes on his list twice to form the VW logo.)
These are ideas that are so simple, so right and yet so damned obvious
that you have to kick yourself for not thinking of them first. Or
Naturally our response to such work is unadulterated envy and
So let’s see whether this collection of direct marketing work will
provoke any oaths.
First, a gold card mailing from NatWest.
A me-too product in a me-too world. How can you give your campaign
cut-through and personality? Well, a lot of effort has gone into this
communication, from the complimentary chopsticks to the intricate,
But what’s it all about?
Apparently, with this gold card, when you go for a Chinese you could go
to China for it. Had the feeling we’ve seen this thought before. That
aside, what does this piece do? And how does it set NatWest’s gold card
apart from the competition? These are questions for the planner, who
seems to have been in the Far East when the creatives were struggling
with this difficult brief.
But if credit card mailings are tough, you have to sympathise even more
with the poor souls faced with a brief for something as dull as a
Even worse, there’s no help from the brand. Who can tell us what
Standard Life stands for? Exactly. Undeterred, the luckless creatives
have made all the elements of this multimedia campaign as bright and
welcoming as they can and that financial services cliche - flexibility -
makes an appearance.
But this can only get you so far. The mailing is let down by confusing
imagery and reams of impenetrable copy.
A fulfilment pack for the RAC isn’t the most promising of briefs,
But this pack hangs together rather well. The copywriter and art
director have leavened the information-heavy piece with some light,
We sensed that they had thought about their target audience. And this
empathy shines through from the moment you discover a teabag for your
cuppa while you consider all the options from the RAC.
Museumnetwork.com’s business-to-business piece is beautifully produced
and there may well be an idea lurking in there somewhere. But it was all
rather baffling. What are these people selling? You would need more time
and patience than we see round the office on a daily basis to find out
why any company should work with Museumnetwork.com.
Finally, a little mailing from Alfa Romeo. At last, an idea. Alfa 145 is
for those people who love standing out from the crowd. Enclosed is a CD
that you expect to be reviews from motoring journalists but it turns out
to be a monologue from a neighbour lamenting the racy lifestyle of the
Alfa driver across the road. (Neat, but it goes on too long.) They’ve
even thrown in a tattoo of the Alfa serpent. Gilding the lily springs to
The work here is probably fairly representative of the industry. Nothing
too awful. Some nice stuff. But we’re not cursing.
Brief: Make the pack stand out and be remembered in an environment
cluttered with gold card mailings
Agency: GGT Direct
Copywriter: Will Luckhurst
Art director: Julia Fisher
Brief: Make people think about mortgages as an everyday item rather than
a one-off expenditure
Agency: Carlina DraftWorldwide
Copywriter: Alan Munro
Art director: Paul Davies
Brief: Create a communication that stands out from the competitors’
packs, capturing the mood of the recipient at the time of opening
Agency: Lowe Direct
Copywriter: Simon Watts
Art director: Michael Jones
Brief: Draw decision makers to the museumnetwork.com stand at the MILIA
Agency: GGT Direct
Copywriter: Jim Thomas
Art director: Claus Larsen
Brief: Express your individuality with the new Alfa 145
Copywriter: Steve Pickard
Art director: David Harris