Campaign Direct: Review

A mum asks her daughter if she can spell banana. ’Yes’, replies the little girl, ’but you’ll have to tell me when to stop.’ OK, it isn’t much of a joke but the same principle applies to ideas. Basically, once you’ve got a good idea, make sure you stop before it gets spoilt by being over complicated.

A mum asks her daughter if she can spell banana. ’Yes’, replies the

little girl, ’but you’ll have to tell me when to stop.’ OK, it isn’t

much of a joke but the same principle applies to ideas. Basically, once

you’ve got a good idea, make sure you stop before it gets spoilt by

being over complicated.



Take the Volkswagen Passat work, for instance. BMP DDB has created some

beautifully elegant and simple ads based on a big idea: obsession with

detail. Some lucky buggers have been given the task of extending this

campaign to fleet managers. Not the most glamorous audience, perhaps,

but the team has made a really good job of this.



The idea of spotting the obsessive nature of Volkswagen engineers at

school is a great one. The school exercise book is a thing of beauty

that has been crafted with great style, all the way through to the logo

done in biro.



But, like the little girl trying to spell banana, the scrapbook takes it

too far. It just doesn’t have the charm and finesse of the other book

and stretches the gag a little thin. Especially the way the pack shot

has been shoehorned in.



One other gripe, the letter really doesn’t flow - it feels as though the

writer has topped and tailed an existing fleet letter.



Some people feel that the really great thing about working in direct

marketing is that you get to do funny folds and the next pack has lots

of them.



The Hewlett-Packard Mopier photocopier guarantees perfect copies. It

promises perfect, stress-free copying every time. How are we going to

sell that?



Well, the obvious answer is send out a screwed-up piece of paper. That

would be a really good demonstration of what a pain other copiers are

and a really fab funny fold.



But hang on, shouldn’t the HP campaign be about showing how much better

things are on its copiers, rather than how bad the competition is?

Anyway, haven’t we seen this one before? Perhaps the team stopped a

little too soon.



The first of this week’s dotcoms is called Flycast. It promises to

double your response rates on the web. Excellent stuff and a really

compelling message for our chums in the media department. However, the

team could have spent a little more time squeezing a bit more out of

this brief.



Running the same gag over and over again in press, post and novelty post

gets really boring. Also, why isn’t there an online solution?



Plantlife is a worthwhile organisation that has done a great deal of

work in the past ten years to save the green bits all around us,

including some very rare plants and flowers. All this, however, is

buried in something that can only be described as unreadable. All we can

say is stop and start again.



Our final dotcom is called BeMe.com. This cover-mounted CD-Rom comes in

a sleeve with the obvious plays on the company name: bein the know;

bechallenging; beirreverent; benow and, of course, beconnected. In fact,

the only one that was in any way surprising was beyourself, next to a

picture of a nun - a thought that twanged a distant chord in Jack’s

Catholic upbringing.



We’d like to say more, but it’s probably time we stopped.



Graham Mills and Jack Nolan are the joint creative directors of

Wunderman Cato Johnson



CREDITS

BEME.COM

Brief: Launch IPC Electric’s first internet product, aiming to be the

number one destination site for women in the UK

Agency: Delaney Lund Knox Warren

Copywriter: Malcolm Green

Art director: Gary Betts


HEWLETT-PACKARD MOPIER

Brief: Give a physical demonstration of the frustration produced by

photocopiers and explain how an HP Mopier can prevent it

Agency: Perspectives

Copywriter: Andy Brown

Art director: Lee Bollinger


FLYCAST

Brief: Launch Flycast, a direct response online advertising network,

into Europe

Agency: IMP

Copywriter: Abo Abramowitz

Art director: Cressida Lloyd


VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT

Brief: Remind fleet managers why the Passat is still top of its class

Agency: Barraclough Hall Woolston Gray

Copywriter: Chris Barraclough

Art director: Stephen Edwards


PLANTLIFE

Brief: Emphasise the growth of Plantlife since its founding ten years

ago

Agency: Burnett Associates

Copywriter: Cara Hickey

Art director: Lee Cradock



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