CAMPAIGN DIRECT: REVIEW (IN ASSOCIATION WITH ROYAL MAIL)

’Go on, I’m only asking for 500 words.’ Yeah, but it’s 500 words on just one campaign, which means we can’t hide behind any witty one-liners and not only that, it also happens to be a piece of business that has caused quite a fuss in the business and ... what, there’s a lunch in it? Oh all right then, we’ll have a go.

’Go on, I’m only asking for 500 words.’ Yeah, but it’s 500 words on

just one campaign, which means we can’t hide behind any witty one-liners

and not only that, it also happens to be a piece of business that has

caused quite a fuss in the business and ... what, there’s a lunch in it?

Oh all right then, we’ll have a go.



And that’s how we came to review the launch work for Cable & Wireless.

Fifty million quid. With a spend like that you’re bound to get noticed.

Full pages, consecutive pages, quarter pages, yellow pages - they’re

appearing everywhere asking the same question, ’What can we do for you?’

So what do the ads do for us?



Difficult one this. The headlines and pictures come together (the way

they should in all good press advertising), they tell the story, we get

the jokes, but somehow the ads just don’t excite. Maybe they’re a bit

too clinical, a bit too stark. Whatever, they’re lacking that special

ingredient that makes one ad great and another just OK.



Now the telly (also lots of yellow). I quite liked these, they’re cute,

easy to watch and for me, more engaging than the press. Rod, on the

other hand, doesn’t agree. As he puts it: they’ve set out to be quite

quirky with these films, even the music track has a quirkiness to it,

but when Mr Corporate voice comes on to explain away the action, it just

falls flat. With people like Orange and First Direct who sell themselves

on their customer service, you feel like they’re talking to you

personally, whereas here I’m watching a commercial trying to convince me

that it’s interested in me. The difference is subtle, but one feels

comfortable, the other forced.



At this point Rod leaves the room to get some beers and I dial the

freephone survey number featured on the ads. One ring later, the phone

is picked up (well that threw me). Catherine was on the other end, she

knew what she was talking about, she knew about the products, she even

told me where I saw the ad (I was left floundering by her efficiency).

She’s arranging for a set of brochures to be sent to my home.

Faultless.



Rods: ’Here’s your beer. What else is there to look at?’



Art: ’Well there’s this bright yellow direct mail questionnaire. What do

you want to say about it?’



Rods: ’It’s a bright yellow direct mail questionnaire.’



So there you have it. Obviously there are bits in the campaign that we

think are better than others but overall you can’t miss it. To be fair,

the agency has looked at this from the consumer’s point of view. It has

successfully broken down the barriers of the different disciplines to

build a consistent brand position, so the client is probably getting

value for his marketing spend. He’s happy, the agency is happy and we’re

left wondering what all the fuss was about.



Arthur Parshotam and Roddy Kerr are directors of creativity at BMP

DDB



CABLE & WIRELESS

Objective: Announce that Cable & Wireless is a new kind of

communications company - one that’s focused on consumers

Agency: Rapier Stead & Bowden

Copywriters: John Townshend, Paul Kendall

Art directors: Roger Pearce, Kevin Bratley



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