About Directory

Innovations in communications

Directory is a showcase for the most innovative ideas in advertising communication from around the world.

It is both a quarterly magazine and an online archive of some 2,500+ case studies.

The magazine is published in March, June, September and December.

Each issue features around 40 new campaign ideas each 108-page issue, explained clearly and succinctly. There are also important thought-pieces, news items from awards shows and, in January, a full summary of The Directory Big Won Rankings.

The online archive is an incredible resource for marketers and their agencies to see what is going on in other parts of the globe. Searchable by category, by media, by product, by agency it is stacked with hi-res images and videos, which can easily be downloaded.  

Why print?

In this digital age, spending money (quite a lot of money) on five-colour litho printing may seem retrograde.

But Directory was, in the first instance, designed by creative people for creative people.

In many agencies, old copies of Directory are magnificently dog-eared.

This is because creatives like to browse. They flick through the pages, waiting for, hoping for the randomness of their search to trigger a sudden connection.

If creative people use the magazine for inspiration, marketers and planners tend to use the website for information or for illustration in a presentation.  

What’s with the name?

Directory was launched in 2007 as the only publication in the world to celebrate creativity in direct marketing.  

But as direct marketing has changed to the complex multi-channel discipline it is today, so Directory’s scope of interest has broadened.

What the editors look for are advertising ideas designed to generate some sort of a response, be it a like or a share as much as a coupon clipped or a voucher redeemed.

As the digital revolution increases in pace and reach, there are almost constant technological innovations, which change how marketers think and how they communicate.

As well as tracking new ideas that make the most of ‘big data’, ideas that explore new platforms and ideas that explode across social media, Directory is excited by innovations in traditional media.

Augmented reality in print, QR codes in television, for instance.

Any instance in which someone has tried deliberately to do it differently.

In short, we have evolved from being a repository of direct to a directory of innovations in communication.

Where does the work come from?

It is free to submit work to Directory though not easy to get it selected for publication. The editorial team includes agency creative directors who are as ruthless as they would be in a Cannes Lions jury room.

As well as great work from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, the UK and the USA, there are also regular contributions from Colombia, China, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Ukraine and Vietnam.

Directory has a genuinely global reach.

With subscribers in most of the countries mentioned.

The majority of subscribers are creative directors and chief creative officers of advertising, integrated and direct marketing agencies. But there is a growing number of marketing directors signing up as well.

In a time of increasing competition in every market, effective ideas are at a premium. And there is no better place to study effective ideas than in Directory.

The Directory Big Won Rankings

The Directory Rankings are an annual survey of the best agencies and the best campaigns of the year as measured by the quantity and quality of awards won.

The winners from at least 40 awards shows around the world are entered into a database. Points are allocated according to the nature of the award won with more points for Gold than for Silver or Bronze.

In addition, more points are allocated to winners of global awards shows such as Cannes Lions than winners of local shows.

On average, around 12,000 awards are registered in the database each year. From the data can be extrapolated the top countries in the world for creativity in the year; the top holding companies; the top networks; the top agencies; the top creative directors; the top writers, the top art directors and the top designers.

Rankings are produced by media channel – Design, Direct, Digital, Film, Outdoor, Print, PR, Radio etc – as well as by country.

If you want to know the top agency for Digital in Sweden in 2013, it was Forsman & Bodenfors.

Top Design agency in the UK was Turner Duckworth.

Top copywriters in the United States were Evan Maranca and Keith Byrne at R/GA New York.  

And so on.

For more information, contact [email protected]

The people

Directory was founded in 2007 by Xtreme Information as a sister publication to Contagious and edited from the start by Patrick Collister.

Patrick was formerly the executive creative director of Ogilvy & Mather London and the executive creative director of EHS Brann Europe.

In 2009, Patrick and Dorte Collister bought Directory and publish Directory from an oast house in Kent.

It is a small team. But cheerful. Publishing Directory is more about a love of creativity than about commercial gain.

Dorte Collister manages the business. She describes herself as Chief Bottle Washer and General Dogsbody but does rather more than bottle washing. All enquries can be addressed to [email protected]

Julie Charlton is Deputy Editor, getting all the work in to get the magazine out. She organises the contributors, the designers, the printers and, not least, the editor.

Pat Herne does the admin, the cleaning up and clearing up.

The horse

In a very small way Directory sponsors Laria Collister’s horse Glory Daze (alias Holly).

Horse and rider are aiming for The Olympics in 2024.

Laria is enough of a realist to recognise that neither she nor Holly may be good enough – but the ambition is glorious in itself.

Their thanks go to all Directory’s subscribers for their support.

You can follow them both on their Youtube channel, Laria&Holly.


Directory magazine and resource is published by The Directory Ltd., Tottington Barn, 352 Rochester Road, Aylesford, Kent ME20 7ED.

Tel: +44 (0)1622 541 515

Editor: Patrick Collister
[email protected]

Publisher: Dorte Collister
[email protected]

Deputy Editor: Julie Charlton
[email protected]

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