There’s one highly sophisticated direct marketing test that always
works down our way. ’The Overnighter.’
The way it works is simple. Pin up your sparkling creative gems last
thing at night and in the cold light of the next morning, see how dull
and lifeless they look. If you do detect the faintest glimmer of an
idea, assault it with questions about relevance, originality, whether it
answers the brief and finally its potential for making our client and
ourselves famous. It never fails.
So, at the crack of 10.30, cappuccino and croissant in hand, we
approached this fresh batch of work.
First was the FPA (Family Planning Association). The brief’s a gift from
God. You can imagine it: ’The date for hitting 1 January 2000 bang on
with your newborn is sometime in April, so we need a 48-sheet
contraceptive (sounds painful), or at least a pre-coital thought
stimulator (sounds even more painful).’ It’s got kids, emotion, sex,
charity, the Millennium ...
the result is a poster that delivers much, but isn’t quite the
Next is Guinness. Great brand. Great opportunity. And the fine idea of
practising for St Patrick’s Day. The problem is, unlike one’s general
feeling of wellbeing while drinking the black stuff itself, the campaign
doesn’t improve with each new insertion. Can’t help feeling a really
good campaign would have come with a little waiting.
Moving smoothly on to the Sony PlayStation Platinum Collection. Good
hard-working piece this, we agreed late last night. Neat art direction,
simple copy, liberal use of game grabs and a strongish central idea.
That was last night. This morning, and slightly worse for wear, we feel
that with such a quirky offer and a strong brand to play with, the work
could and should have gone to a slightly higher creative level.
Last to get ’the Overnighter’ were a couple of ideas for East Midlands
Electricity. These were in response to probably the dullest and most
difficult brief of the bunch. But, without a doubt, they’re the simplest
and most effective creative ideas. Steve even remembered receiving them
back in the Midlands (always a good sign). It’s good to see creatives
have a real go at a commodity - we all know how notoriously difficult
they are to crack.
So, now it’s time to give this review ’the Overnighter’. Only problem
is, we’ve only got ten minutes to get it over to Campaign. Best laid
plans and all that ...
Steve Stretton and Matt Morley-Brown are joint creative directors of
Archibald Ingall Stretton.
Brief: Remind the public of the responsibilities of having a baby
Agency: Stretch the Horizon
Copywriters: Ed Prichard and Ian Malone
Art directors: Chris Arnold and Mark Lines
Brief: Maximise behaviour change in normal non-Guinness drinkers around
St Patrick’s Day
Copywriters and art directors: Dean Rutter and Patrick Daly
Brief: Raise awareness of the Platinum Collection and incentivise
purchase of games from the range
Agency: Claydon Heeley
Copywriter: Jamie Buckley
Art director: Justin Hill
EAST MIDLANDS ELECTRICITY
Brief: Remind customers of benefits of staying with EME, as deregulation
Agency: Tequila Payne Stracey
Copywriter: Jo Dawson
Art director: Sue Davis.