This month we’re back in the heartland. No DRTV. No press. Not a website in sight. Just good old direct mail. You’d think by now we’d be pretty good at it. But on the basis of this sample, we are professional without being inspirational.

This month we’re back in the heartland. No DRTV. No press. Not a

website in sight. Just good old direct mail. You’d think by now we’d be

pretty good at it. But on the basis of this sample, we are professional

without being inspirational.

There are great TV ads. There are great mailings. But rarely do great TV

ads make great mailpacks. I’ve been guilty of foolishly trying to force

a TV commercial into a piece of direct mail. It doesn’t work. You end up

doing justice to neither medium.

Undeterred by my own failure, Ford has slavishly tried to transform its

’back to the future’ TV ad for the Escort Finesse into a mailing. In

mail you inevitably get none of the drama or visual excitement of the

TV, just a dull picture of the old Escort metamorphosing into a dull

picture of the latest one. The 1968 model takes the prominent role but I

m not sure how much it will mean to Mr and Mrs Leighton Buzzard looking

to buy their new car in 1998 with aircon, power steering and


From driving to drink. Three mailings for Benedictine, Normandy’s famous

liqueur. I admire anyone who can wax lyrical about something


The writer has an endearing tendency to go over the top. ’The sound of

enraptured footsteps in these hallowed halls gives way to reverential

silence in the complimentary tasting salon.’ Sounds like Alan


But for all that, and some busy art direction, the packs have charm.

I imagine liqueur addicts will be captivated and at least they’ve

succeeded in making me re-evaluate my prejudice.

Charm is a quality distinctly lacking from the very corporate Eurobell

mailings. The acquisition pack features a brave stab at wit with a free

doodling pad and pencil. But this idea doesn’t focus directly on the

main benefit (a 25 per cent saving on calls) and the opening sentence:

’Some people like to doodle as they chat on the phone. If you’re one of

those people, may we suggest that you sharpen your pencil, get a big pad

of paper and switch to Eurobell for your phone services’, reminds me of

Harry Enfield’s Mr Grayson addressing the nation.

I am left in no doubt that purple is Eurobell’s corporate colour. As to

who they are, however, I haven’t got a clue.

The National Savings mailing for income bonds gets the proposition right

up front on the envelope. Which is a good thing. The concept hangs on

the rhetorical question ’Is your bread rising as fast?’ and - you

guessed it - a loaf of freshly baked bread rises out of the page to ram

the point home.

The product benefits take second place to an incongruous shot of a

farmhouse kitchen, but you have sympathy for a team trying to inject

some life into a financial product. And, call me old-fashioned, but the

condensed sans-serif typeface makes the copy harder to read than it need


The pack is a perfectly good job but not one you’d put in your book.

True of all of this month’s work.

Chris Barraclough is the executive creative director of Barraclough Hall

Woolston Gray



Brief: Develop a prospecting programme to coincide with an

above-the-line campaign featuring the Escort Finesse

Agency: Wunderman Cato Johnson

Copywriter: Liz van Put

Art director: Guy Bradbury


Brief: Develop loyalty among current Benedictine consumers and recruit

new ones

Agency: TSM

Copywriter: Rick Wright

Art director: Jonathan Bedford


Brief: Provide information on the range of services available and help

new customers make the most of the service

Agency: Perspectives

Copywriter: Michelle Teboul

Art director: Leigh Fowler


Brief: Tie in with the press advertising and bring the campaign to life

in 3-D

Agency: GGT Direct

Copywriter: Helen Law

Art director: Rachel Sharman


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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).