CAMPAIGN DIRECT: REVIEW (IN ASSOCIATION WITH ROYAL MAIL)

A few years ago, BMW did one of the best bits of direct mail I’ve ever received. I’d responded to one of those April Fool’s Day ads they used to run; in this instance, for a car that switched from left- to right-hand drive as it hit French soil. I returned the coupon just to see what they’d do, half expecting to receive a po-faced note pointing out that the ad was a joke.

A few years ago, BMW did one of the best bits of direct mail I’ve

ever received. I’d responded to one of those April Fool’s Day ads they

used to run; in this instance, for a car that switched from left- to

right-hand drive as it hit French soil. I returned the coupon just to

see what they’d do, half expecting to receive a po-faced note pointing

out that the ad was a joke.



I got a long and very funny letter purporting to be from the chief

engineer at BMW. He wrote that, because of Common Market shenanigans,

the car had been put on hold. In consolation, he enclosed a BMW guide to

French hotels.



Ever since, I’ve associated BMW with wit, charm and huge generosity - so

my hopes were high when I saw the slim white box containing the new BMW

mailing. Inside was a beautifully bound book about the BMW 840Ci Sport,

entitled the Eighth Sin. (Presumably the client had a problem with the

word ’deadly’.) It has rich black paper, a moody product shot on every

page, lots of literary quotes about desire, passion and power - and it

exudes good taste.



It’s a seriously expensive pack for a seriously expensive car but, for

my money, it doesn’t quite have the wit I expect from BMW. Then again,

since the 840Ci Sport apparently had a two-year waiting list before this

pack was even mailed, perhaps they just felt like dropping the

self-deprecating humour for once in favour of having a jolly good

crow.



The size of the BMW book was presumably dictated by the size of the

average domestic letterbox. No such constraints faced the creative team

behind the trade mailing for a new drink called Street Car from Southern

Comfort.



They sent out a hessian sack marked ’Handle with Care Gator Egg’. Inside

the protective ’shell’ is a bottle of the said drink and the sales

blurb.



’You won’t believe how big these babies will get,’ warns the alligator

farmer (who looks rather more fearsome than the reptile he’s

holding).



The idea tracks through effortlessly from start to finish and the copy

is full of little gems like ’It’s grabbing more airtime than a TV

evangelist’.



It could only be from Southern Comfort, and everything about it, from

the alligator skin paper to the Mississippi typeface, is designed to

transport you to the Bayou.



Meanwhile, back in London, be careful which cab you hail. It turns out

that Siemens has been supplementing its campaign for the S6 mobile phone

with an innovative new medium known as ’the London cabbie’. One hundred

of the capital’s taxi drivers have been trained to weave Siemens product

information into their usual spiel.



It’s a fantastic idea, especially the bit that says they’re supposed to

shut up if the passenger shows no interest. Anyone who can train a taxi

driver to do that gets my vote.



BMW

Agency: Evans Hunt Scott

Client: Richard Downes , direct marketing manager Objective: Arouse 

interest in one of the most exclusive and beautiful cars in the world

Account handling: Richard Hudson Copywriter: Terry Hunt

Art director: Ray Howard

Creative directors: Ray Howard , Terry Hunt

STREET CAR

Agency: IMP Client: Graham Appleyard, brand manager

Objective: Increase the awareness of Street Car, the new premium 

packaged spirit from Southern Comfort, among drinks trade buyers and 

encourage them to test it

Copywriter: Marcus Park

Art director: Andy Regan

Creative director: David Harris

 SIEMENS

Agency: Impact FCA

Client: David Ball, UK general manager

Objective: Create a distinctive positioning in a cluttered market 

Account handling: Rex Fowler

Copywriter: Shaun McIlrath

Art director: Ian Harding Creative directors: Ian Harding, Shaun 

McIlrath



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