In today’s Direct Review you’ll find fewer bon mots and witty apercus than normal. Why? Well, in this column, as in agency life, those who shut up and concentrate on the work tend to get through more of it.

In today’s Direct Review you’ll find fewer bon mots and witty

apercus than normal. Why? Well, in this column, as in agency life, those

who shut up and concentrate on the work tend to get through more of


First an invitation to find out ’what makes Gordon’s Gin perfect’. The

envelope is well branded with the unmistakable condensation-covered

green bottle. Looking at the shot on the leaflet, the chill of the ice

and the zing of the G&T are almost palpable. This art direction is

simple and unobtrusive. Not so the writing: ’our man taps the bushes

with a judicious cane’ ... ’we reap the ingredients’ ... ’answer a few

crisp, sharp questions’.

The overnight test would have helped but, all in all, it’s a stylish and

efficient piece of work.

The same test might have improved one of the WAGN railway pieces. It’s

aimed at getting people to visit London - a copywriter’s gift,


Instead we get headlines and subheads like this: ’London by

Travelcard’ ... ’It gets you to London’ ... ’It gets you around

London’ ... ’It gets you out of London’. Now I’m all for telling it like

it is, but a bit of persuasion never hurts. The second piece - getting

families to travel to London because children go free - got the team a

little more excited and the use of kiddy art, while quite commonplace

nowadays, does liven things up.

Next, a model of the Canary Wharf tower with a light on top that flashes

like the real thing. This is mailed to people who work at the Wharf,

persuading them to travel on Eurostar. I’m sure the blinking tower will

get noticed.

But shouldn’t they dramatise the place they want the prospective

traveller to visit rather than where they are travelling from? The way,

in fact, the current Eurostar posters do. That’s a charming campaign and

surely synergy ’twixt mail and outdoor would have boosted response to


There’s no mistaking the provenance of the BT Freetime mailings. The

poor buggers who had to do these pieces would have been OK had they been

working to a real brand idea. Instead they are lumbered with a puppet

from a 17-year-old sci-fi movie. Which leaves us with some predictable

references to things landing and taking off, but in no doubt that where

we are really heading is the creative boneyard.

The Citibank insert is one that is emerging from that very place.

This is a replica of a passport so real that apparently some nutter

tried to use it at Dover customs. Inside there’s the pounds 5 note

picture of George Stephenson complete with date of birth, 9 June 1781,

and place of birth, Wylam. The copy makes all the selling points clearly

and succinctly, as it expands on the idea of making your money go

further. A team has worked hard on this humble job and deserves a spot


So too does the team working on Fidelity. You get into the back of a cab

and notice there’s a dollars 20 bill tucked down the seat. Only the

bill, once unfolded, isn’t real. The reverse reads: ’Don’t leave your

money lying around. Put it in a Fidelity ISA.’ Very clever. I’ve just

one reservation: our industry is currently obsessed with such stunts,

yet, judging by the DM awards, no-one can do a press ad any more.

Finally, a mailing telling golf equipment retailers about Callaway’s new

golf ball. With its demonstration of how these balls will fly out of the

shopkeeper’s door, it gets to the point very quickly. Which should

always be encouraged.

Steve Harrison is the creative partner of HPT Brand Response



Brief: Target current and lapsed gin drinkers by launching Gordon’s

first relationship marketing programme

Agency: Craik Jones

Copywriter: John Spinks

Art director: Steve Coelho


Brief: Offer a free flight when you open a Citibank account

Agency: Wunderman Cato Johnson

Copywriter: Graham Mills Art director: Jack Nolan


Brief: Trade mailing to promote awareness of the Callaway golf ball

Agency: Archibald Ingall Stretton

Copywriter: Becky Plenderleigth

Art director: John Tracey


Brief: Show people in Canary Wharf how quickly and conveniently they can

catch the Eurostar

Agency: Rapier

Copywriter: Matt Smith

Art director: Mike Young


Brief: Recruit advertisers and subscribers to the new BT Freetime


Agency: Blau Tequila

Copywriter: Andrew Watkinson

Art director: Steve Bewick


Brief: Generate additional passengers through communicating the ease and

value of going to town with WAGN

Agency: Evans Hunt Scott

Copywriters: Helen Harris, Philip Rowell

Art directors: Phil Watson and Joe Bullman


Brief: Increase awareness by reaching consumers with an original message

in an innovative fashion

Agency: FCA!

Copywriter: Tim Williamson

Art directors: Matt Kirby, Gary Willis

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