Campaign Direct Awards 2007: Best Automotive Campaign

Project: Hard Letter
Agency: Rapier
Creative director: David Prideaux
Art director: Rob Ferrara
Copywriter: Liz Franklin
Account director: Paul Alexander
Client: Mercedes-Benz Vans

Mercedes-Benz Vans wanted to promote its Vito model by generating test-drive requests, and encourage potential customers to ask for brochures, but faced a hurdle in the fact that van drivers and small business owners are notoriously difficult to engage via DM campaigns.

Knowing this, Rapier opted for a no-nonsense letter to promote the Mercedes-Benz Vito van, but with a twist - the letter was printed on rigid stock. It asked recipients: "Shouldn't your next van be as well built as this letter?" Recipients agreed, making it one of Mercedes-Benz's most successful campaigns, generating 140 per cent more test drives than previous campaigns and cutting the cost per response by 54 per cent.