By Sam Beaumont
Christmas is a time for sharing
Last week, Directory dropped through my door. It’s a great magazine. It’s full of all kinds of insights and there are so many examples of properly smart campaigns. But the thing is, it isn’t cheap. I only got my hands on a subscription because Patrick Collister, the Editor, hooked me up with a subscription in return for doing a brief he’d set. So unfortunately, despite how useful it would be for advertising students, I doubt many could stretch to the £600 it costs per year. So in the spirit of the Christmas season I thought I’d use this SCAB to share a few highlights from the December issue…
1: It’s a sexy mag
First and foremost, what you get with Directory is a beautifully designed magazine. Not only are the spreads and cover pretty great to look at, it’s printed on the kind of paper that you can’t help but sensually rub your cheek against when no-one’s looking. (To get a sense of this magic for yourself, get your thickest, softest socks on and slide around on some laminate flooring for a while. Bliss.)
2: A slice of Souter
I think a fair few of my fellow penguins would agree that meeting the ever-smiling king of Adland was one of the best things we’ve done at SCA. In this quarter’s directory there’s a 7-page interview that really gets into some of his best work (think The Economist, ‘Make Poverty History’, and ‘Married Single Other’) and what’s made him successful (namely, the drive to get up at 4am and write before work and naturally possessing the kind of humility that gets the best people doing their best work for you.)
3: ‘Rider Reminder’ direct mail campaign (look it up)
This article make a really good point about the effectiveness of direct mail advertising and why it should be embraced more by everyone who believes that advertising exists to communicate and influence rather than just act as ‘pseudo art’. To back this up it then picks out an interesting direct mail idea from Australia where drivers were sent specially designed car door handles that made them ‘think bike’ before they potentially opened up their door in front of cyclists. Sounds complicated. It actually seems like a good little nudge.
4: ‘Remumber’. Digital idea for Missing Children Europe.
No one can remember phone numbers anymore. Except maybe your Gran. And while this normally isn’t an issue, what do you do if you’re a lost kid with a lost(/dead) phone and you need to find your parents? There’s a campaign in the magazine that looks to fix this problem by creating an app that replaces the code on a kid’s smart phones with their parents phone number. I thought it was a pretty smart idea.
5: ‘It pays to experiment’. Campaign for The Sun’s Dream Team.
You’ll have to look it up for the whole thing but this campaign was a bit of fun, playing on the unpredictability of football. The idea doesn’t seem hugely creative but it really connects with the audience and what they care about. It also emphasises the importance of targeting. They hit their core audience, made it interesting enough to share, and ended up well over their target of a million sign ups.