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,

that’s creative.

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

something new.

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

to Ford.

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

alleviate symptoms.

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.


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