I’ve been away from the industry for a while so I was intrigued to
hear that some direct marketing agencies recently got together to hire a
Cork Street art gallery to show their work.
I wonder what criteria they used to select the work (and to self-select
themselves, come to think of it)? Indeed, how should I look at the
contents of this month’s jiffy bag? Through the eyes of direct
marketing’s answer to Brian Sewell or from the perspective of the man in
the street who knows nothing about art but has a pretty good idea of
what he does and does not like?
I suspect the former would be a bit sniffy about the National Canine
Defence League work. Animal lovers will, however, be touched.
The formulaic shock tactic - ’give us pounds 10 or this dog will die’ -
has been eschewed in favour of a gentler approach. It’s clear and simple
and the pen pictures of the dogs personify their plight. The valentine
card from dog to sponsor is a good idea. OK, it might be a bit mawkish,
but I’m sure it will delight any one of the millions of Britons who
prefer pets to people.
There’s a big idea in the new Nissan Patrol GR work. A 20-inch by
24-inch idea, to be exact - that’s the size of this, the largest
brochure I’ve ever seen. They’ve decided to position this car as ’large
on luxury’, hence the giant pack. It works well, too - the obligatory
beauty shot has never looked so striking.
Finally, a series of mailings for Alex Laurie. The envelope lines are
splendidly explanatory. ’How to pay for people when you haven’t been
paid yourself.’ (I once read that Tony Brignull would first write a ’how
to ...’ headline every time he had an ad brief because it focused his
mind on what he was actually selling.) The letters are empathetic,
persuasive and to the point. Likewise the brochure copy. The incentive
and reply forms are also well thought through. The only problem arises
from the brochure covers. They’re a bit too intricate and the wordplay
and, yes, artistry get in the way of what the rest of the pack
communicates so clearly.
It’s not bad though, which means there’s a little red dot on each piece
on display. In fact, my only disappointment is that we didn’t get a
chance to see any work by the greatest copywriter/art director working
in our field at the moment, Nat Tate Jnr. Maybe next month.
Steve Harrison is a copywriter and managing partner at Harrison Patten
Troughton Brand Response
Brief: Not supplied
Copywriter: Goran Powell
Art director: Mike Cavers
Brief: Provide quality
leads for the Alex Laurie sales team
Creatives: Paul Fraser, Alasdair Welsh
Typography: Why Not Associates
Brief: Create a multi-media campaign to recruit sponsors for the
Agency: Burnett Associates
Copywriters: Marc Nohr, Tom Monk, Jackie Donnellan
Art director: Jon Harvey.