There’s one highly sophisticated direct marketing test that always works down our way. ’The Overnighter.’

There’s one highly sophisticated direct marketing test that always

works down our way. ’The Overnighter.’

The way it works is simple. Pin up your sparkling creative gems last

thing at night and in the cold light of the next morning, see how dull

and lifeless they look. If you do detect the faintest glimmer of an

idea, assault it with questions about relevance, originality, whether it

answers the brief and finally its potential for making our client and

ourselves famous. It never fails.

So, at the crack of 10.30, cappuccino and croissant in hand, we

approached this fresh batch of work.

First was the FPA (Family Planning Association). The brief’s a gift from

God. You can imagine it: ’The date for hitting 1 January 2000 bang on

with your newborn is sometime in April, so we need a 48-sheet

contraceptive (sounds painful), or at least a pre-coital thought

stimulator (sounds even more painful).’ It’s got kids, emotion, sex,

charity, the Millennium ...

the result is a poster that delivers much, but isn’t quite the

immaculate conception.

Next is Guinness. Great brand. Great opportunity. And the fine idea of

practising for St Patrick’s Day. The problem is, unlike one’s general

feeling of wellbeing while drinking the black stuff itself, the campaign

doesn’t improve with each new insertion. Can’t help feeling a really

good campaign would have come with a little waiting.

Moving smoothly on to the Sony PlayStation Platinum Collection. Good

hard-working piece this, we agreed late last night. Neat art direction,

simple copy, liberal use of game grabs and a strongish central idea.

That was last night. This morning, and slightly worse for wear, we feel

that with such a quirky offer and a strong brand to play with, the work

could and should have gone to a slightly higher creative level.

Last to get ’the Overnighter’ were a couple of ideas for East Midlands

Electricity. These were in response to probably the dullest and most

difficult brief of the bunch. But, without a doubt, they’re the simplest

and most effective creative ideas. Steve even remembered receiving them

back in the Midlands (always a good sign). It’s good to see creatives

have a real go at a commodity - we all know how notoriously difficult

they are to crack.

So, now it’s time to give this review ’the Overnighter’. Only problem

is, we’ve only got ten minutes to get it over to Campaign. Best laid

plans and all that ...

Steve Stretton and Matt Morley-Brown are joint creative directors of

Archibald Ingall Stretton.



Brief: Remind the public of the responsibilities of having a baby

Agency: Stretch the Horizon

Copywriters: Ed Prichard and Ian Malone

Art directors: Chris Arnold and Mark Lines


Brief: Maximise behaviour change in normal non-Guinness drinkers around

St Patrick’s Day

Agency: Triangle

Copywriters and art directors: Dean Rutter and Patrick Daly


Brief: Raise awareness of the Platinum Collection and incentivise

purchase of games from the range

Agency: Claydon Heeley

Copywriter: Jamie Buckley

Art director: Justin Hill


Brief: Remind customers of benefits of staying with EME, as deregulation


Agency: Tequila Payne Stracey

Copywriter: Jo Dawson

Art director: Sue Davis.


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