Groan. Claydon Heeley’s wheeled out that carload of fish again - haven’t
they done anything else recently? Of course. The other day I wrote a
direct response ad with the phone number in the headline. In my book,
I chose the Ka aquarium because it proves an idea can supersede the need
to destroy acres of rainforest while fulfilling all the client’s direct
marketing objectives. Strangely enough, putting pounds 2,000 worth of
Koi in a vehicle filled with water wasn’t a ’let’s be wacky’ idea but
the logical solution to Ford’s needs. Ka was designed to appeal to a
different type of Ford customer - design conscious, prepared to drive
The sort of people who wouldn’t be seen dead in your average car
The problem: how to get the product in front of these customers and
encourage them to take a test drive, while enhancing Ka’s style
Damien Hirst had just done what he does best for a restaurant in London,
and we’d been forging a link with the Conran organisation and Ka ... an
idea was born. Restaurants and aquariums seemed to go together as did
restaurants and our target market. If we could get these individuals to
sign up for a test drive in an environment they felt comfortable in,
we’d have done our job. Ford agreed.
The Ka aquarium began its career in the window of Mezzo, attracting more
interest than a portrait of Myra Hindley - with more than 100 test
drives a week taking place in the dry Ka outside. It’s been in
Selfridges’ foyer and toured the country. Sweden’s got one. The number
of test drives inspired by this oddest of direct marketing pieces is
well into the thousands; the PR has been worth more than pounds 350,000
For our part, we still get satisfaction confusing awards panels by
describing it as direct marketing. It doesn’t fit in a C5 envelope, I
know, but it’s direct and has marketed Ka better than any mail-shot
could have hoped for.
Rob Scott is the creative director of Claydon Heeley International
I have chosen a cohesive campaign that took a broad approach to its
market and delivered above expectations.
We devised a campaign for Proflex Pain Relief cream from Novartis, aimed
at a user group who would benefit from the product - rheumatic
Information leaflets were distributed by direct mail to the homes of a
database of sufferers and given to pensioners by Post Office counter
staff when they collected their pensions. Both routes were coded with
eight different variations to the consumer response mechanic so the most
cost-effective methods could be evaluated.
The leaflet gave information about how Proflex could relieve pain and,
in return for completing a questionnaire, respondents were offered a
free Proflex ’guide to gentle exercise’ and a squeezable ball to help
These items reinforced the caring ethos of the brand and maintained a
presence in the home.
Sales assistants were given brochures and invited to enter a competition
asking questions about the brand to extend their knowledge and
understanding, for which prizes with a high perceived value were
Novartis was delighted with the response and sales uplift. The campaign
allowed us to identify an economical and effective method of
communicating with the target audience and provided key data from the
The campaign achieved on a number of levels - brand objectives for
targeted consumers, trade recommendation and database building. Finally,
it enabled my healthcare account team to extend the brand and, I hope,
help an awful lot of rheumatic sufferers.
David Lazarus is the creative director of Fingerhut Associates.