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Editorial
 

Editor’s Introduction

Issue 18 | March 2011

Love letters

The fact is, mail is the most viable advertising medium available to you when you start up. Yes, there’s email and you can do whizzy things on YouTube. But email open rates are continuing to plummet as we each and every one of us declare a personal war on spam. And you have to be bloody lucky to get your viral to go viral without careful and costly seeding.

It was Napoleon who derided Britain as ‘a nation of shop-keepers’ and that shop-keeping trait is alive and kicking today. What is keeping the UK economy afloat isn’t big business. It’s little businesses. And they are blossoming. According to Barclays, 471,500 new companies started in the UK in 2010. Now the Government has reintroduced the Enterprise Allowance, there will be even more.

And it is mail that will help those entrepreneurs reach the people they most want to sell to.

Of course, I always bang the drum for mail that has a heart; mail that sets out to engage. My latest notion is that Aristotle is the father of modern direct marketing. 

The three musketeers of direct

He believed that a successfully persuasive argument was based on three things all wound together. Ethos, pathos and logos. Yes, the three musketeers of direct, if you like.

Ethos, or values. Brands have to stand for something these days.

Pathos, or engagement. You have to be able to touch people in some way, with humour, an insight or with a revelation.

Lastly is logos, the rational bit. The offer, the money off, the transaction.

For me too much direct mail is about logos, with precious little pathos and certainly no ethos.

Not the case with one of my favourite campaigns in this issue. It’s one of the Golds at the New Zealand RSVP and Nexus Awards, which we feature on page x.

TVNZ brought to life Spielberg’s TV mini-series ‘The Pacific’ by showing the actual letters of American G.I’s writing home between 1942 and 1945.

What suddenly makes history shockingly real is the tiny detail. The bullet may have just missed but the mud and rock it spat up still put Johnny in hospital.

His fear and his fatigue are ringingly clear even though 70 years separates him from us.

Elsewhere in Issue 18 we have ethos, pathos and logos in the campaign for ERA from10 Advertising in Belgium on page xx. They got Belgians to give up their Facebook pages to homeless people for a day. Bit not for long, as it turned out. Facebook closed it down.

Really, it is hard to warm to Facebook as an organization.

Beautiful ideas from Australia and Sweden

Other personal favourites are M&C Saatchi Sydney’s campaign for a charity supported by Qantas. established to help Aboriginal athletes get to play Aussie Rules football. The creative leap was to get Aboriginal artists to paint the boots of the top Aboriginal players so they could be shown in an exhibition to raise awareness and auctioned off to raise money.

The decorated boots are simply beautiful.

And that is the word also for Forsman & Bodenfors’ incredible ‘Baking Book’ for IKEA. The art direction is simply mouth-watering. Yet it’s also made modern and relevant through an iPhone app that brought the recipes to thousands of Swedes.

There is some fantastic work coming out of Sweden at the moment with old-school craft skills and new technology platforms being brought together with such grace.

We are pleased also to have two campaigns from  Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO London. ‘Who Murdered Deon?’ for the Metropolitan Police is on pages xx to xx and the ‘Big Picture’ work for Aviva is crammed in on pages xx to xx.

Abbott Mead Vickers was the Direct Agency of the Year at Cannes in 2010 and these two blockbuster pieces of work will certainly have them there or thereabouts again in 2011.

Once again there has been a lot of great new work to show and once again we have had to add extra pages so Directory 18 is bigger than usual. We hope it’s better as well.

Don’t forget, all the case histories are also online at www.directnewideas.com but with video, where appropriate.

Pip pip,

Patrick

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