Campaign Annual 2007: Top 10 Direct Mail Campaigns

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 14 December 2007 12:00AM

1. CANCER RESEARCH UK, 'SMOKE IS POISON' TANKER

It's reassuring when a campaign that sits outside the direct marketing comfort zone achieves such high creative acclaim. Ogilvy UK's "smoke is poison" tanker generated a huge amount of interest, raised awareness of poisons in smoke by 178 per cent, and cleaned up at Cannes, netting the Grand Prix, two silvers and a bronze Lion, as well as a gold and silver award at the Campaign Direct Awards.

Agency: Ogilvy UK Group

Writer: Emma de la Fosse

Art director: Charlie Wilson

2. WAITROSE, 'EASTER FISH AND WINE'

A straw poll of industry creatives revealed this tasty mailer to be a top choice for the awards next year. The booklet, created by Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw, was an example of art direction at its best, and it successfully achieved assessed incremental sales of £2.5million. Each page carried an image of a main ingredient, such as a lobster or a fish labelled with the perfect accompanying wine.

Agency: Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw

Writer: Ben Golik Art director: Phil Wyatt

3. VISIT WALES, 'WETSUIT'

This attention-grabbing mailer from Partners Andrews Aldridge has been tipped for next year's direct marketing honours. The small swatch of wetsuit was sent to surfing enthusiasts to emphasise the warmth of the water around the coastline of Wales in the autumn, and it has achieved a huge 9.5 per cent response rate.

Agency: Partners Andrews Aldridge

Writer: Dan Wright

Art director: Simon Nicholls

4. VIRGIN TRAINS, 'ATMOSPHERE'

Letters aren't boring. In fact, when they are executed well, like this Virgin Trains campaign, they can be as visually arresting as a colourful booklet or a novelty mail pack. The letter uses copy cut out from the card to enable the reader to see through it, highlighting the importance of the clarity of the atmosphere behind.

Agency: Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel

Writer: Mandy Wiemers

Art director: Mark Buckingham

5. VIRGIN, 'UMA'

This was by far the most attention-grabbing and sexy piece of direct response TV to come out of adland this year. Uma brought a glamour and class to the screens previously only associated with work from traditional creative shops, proving Rapier's ability to challenge preconceived notions of so-called below-the-line communications.

Agency: Rapier

Writer: John Townshend

Art director: Simon Stephenson

6. LEXUS, 'HIDEAWAYS'

Creating a book seems to be en vogue in the direct marketing world at the moment, but few have been done successfully. That said, however, this pastiche of a 50s boys' adventure book, called Compendium of Dens, Hideaways and Other Thinking Spaces, has been successful for Lexus, leading to a 40 per cent conversion rate from response to test drive, as well as receiving a DMA nomination for art direction.

Agency: Partners Andrews Aldridge

Writer: Anthoula Nolan

Art director: Shwan Hamidi

7. ROYAL MAIL, 'MR COMPLETE'

This cleverly integrated pack was sent to 6,000 businesses to highlight the value of integrated direct marketing communications. The pack was designed to show the impact and effect using integrated online and direct communications through intertwined direct mail and microsite activity can have.

Agency: Proximity

Writer: Marcus Iles

Art director: Duncan Gray

8. SKODA FABIA LAUNCH

In a world of Christmas tree-shaped air fresheners, this mailer for Skoda stood out as something different. Tying in with Fallon's hugely popular "the baking of Fabia" ad, this humorous pack tapped into the confectionary theme by featuring a car-shaped chocolate fudge-scented air freshener.

Agency: Archibald Ingall Stretton

Writer: Jon Vinton

Art director: Martin Lythgoe

9. ARDBEG, 'AIRIGH NAM BEIST'

This mailing, created by the Scottish agency Story, featured a spine- tingling legend about the Isle of Islay, the home of the Ardbeg whisky distillery. After reading the cleverly crafted tale, the book invited whisky fans to buy a bottle of the "strong stuff" as protection. The scare tactics have clearly paid off, since the pack achieved a huge 69 per cent response.

Agency: Story

Writer: Rebecca Wood

Art director: Dave Mullen

10. TDA RS PACK

Religion can be a rather tricky subject to base communications around, but this eye-catching mailer, recruiting people to teach religious studies, highlights the fact that religious debate is far from black and white. The mailer, which exclaims "There is no God" on one side and "There is only one God" on the other, opens out to reveal text explaining that religious studies is, in fact, about the grey areas in between.

Agency: DraftFCB

Writer: Kevin Mills

Art director: Carl Knapper.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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