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Non-profit fund-raising, which is distributing ever-more personalized letters, has the greatest number of finalists in this year's Direct Marketing Association's 70th Annual International Echo Awards. Automotive, finding creative ways to get consumers to go for a test drive, rose from two to seven finalists. Interactive campaigns has four finalists-its most since its debut in 1996.

These creative- and strategic-judged awards, which are divided into gold, silver and bronze, will be unveiled next week in Toronto at the DMA's 82nd annual conference. Finalists, with agency success claims, include:


Agency: McCann Relationship Marketing, New York

Advertiser: General Motors Corp.: Buick Motor Division

Campaign: "Interchange-Buick Relationship Marketing"

Buick got a big boost in sales when it sent personalized mailings that allowed consumers to design their own car. The one-to-one communication sold some 20,000 Buicks for $494 million.

Agency: McCann Relationship Marketing, New York

Advertiser: General Motors Corp.: Pontiac/GMC

Campaign: "Envoy"

With no models in stock of its first small-size sports utility vehicle, Envoy, GMC creatively sent to potential customers real European-stamped postcards and letters from two fictional brothers who traveled throughout Europe in an Envoy. They wrote about the rational and emotional reasons for buying the SUV. The campaign generated almost $70 million in profit.

Agency: M/S Database Marketing, Los Angeles

Advertiser: American Isuzu Motors

Campaign: "Isuzu VehiCross Launch"

Relying on Isuzu owners who might want the marketer's latest model, Isuzu pitched VehiCross as a collector's item. It worked. All 500 limited-edition vehicles were sold for sales of more than $15 million.


Agency: Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco

Advertiser: 3Com Corp.

Campaign: "3Com Spychaser"

To build brand loyalty between information technology managers and 3Com, the network computer company created Spychaser, a mission-solving, prize-winning web-based game. Nearly all 120,000 targeted IT managers from 32 countries flocked to the 3Com website after being invited to play via e-mail, Internet advertising and traditional mailings sent in seven languages.

Agency: Modem Media Poppe Tyson, Norwalk, Conn.

Advertiser: Intel Corp.

Campaign: "Intel's"

The computer chip maker advertised its new art museum Website solely on the Internet. By targeting art lovers, educators and techies on other sites, Intel lured clickers to its virtual museum. Traffic to the site quadrupled in the first five weeks.

Agency: OgilvyOne Worldwide, New York

Advertiser: Interlabor

Campaign: "Interlabor Cake Action"

The temporary work agency literally got its foot in the door. Bearing a home-baked cake, Interlabor made more than 6,000 surprise visits to prospective business clients. A record number of companies had their cake and signed contracts too.

Agency: OgilvyOne Worldwide, New York

Advertiser: OgilvyOne Worldwide

Campaign: "Use It Wisely"

Proving the age-old "location, location, location," maxim still holds true, the agency placed its own job-opening ads within 1,000 feet of the offices of its six biggest competitors. The $30,000 strategy secured 407 new employees and bypassed expensive recruiter fees.


Agency: DNA Studio, Los Angeles

Advertiser: Columbia TriStar Interactive

Campaign: "The Mask of Zorro"

Columbia capitalized on Zorro's mass appeal by promoting the movie's Website in newspapers, outdoor and click-thru Web banners. Result: Six million Zorro-lovers visited to chat and play sword-wielding Web games against other fans.

Agency: FCB Direct, New York

Advertiser: AT&T Corp.

Campaign: "00 It's Magic"

More than 10% of consumers in test market dialed the new directory assistance number after viewing the AT&T campaign focusing on the shortcomings of 411 and 555-1212.

Agency: Modem Media Poppe Tyson, Norwalk, Conn.

Advertiser: AT&T Corp.

Campaign: "AT&T World Traveler"

Tradition is to promote international direct access numbers throughout airports, but AT&T left competitors standing at the gate by distributing its numbers online before travelers headed to their terminals. Chock full of information about potential country locations, the Website distributed 3 million phone numbers to consumers still in the trip-planning stage.


Agency: Tepperman/Ray Associates, Methuen, Mass.

Advertiser: Overseas Adventure Travel

Campaign: "Path of Dreams Catalog"

Competing with an influx of travel catalogs to the wealthy over-50 crowd, this travel marketer made its trips stand out by printing in its oversized catalog photos of real travelers on actual vacations engaged in cultural activities. The result: a sales hike of 43% over the 1998 catalog.


Agency: AGA Catalog Marketing & Design, New York

Advertiser: Spiegel

Campaign: "Elements Exclusively Spiegel"

Taking advantage of the latest consumer trend toward spirituality, harmony and self-awareness, the company's new niche catalog, with its soft colors and textures, surpassed previous sales by 300%.

Agency: C-E Communications, Digital Solutions Group, Warren, Mich.

Advertiser: Amway Corp.

Campaign: "Quixtar Countdown Website"

Designed in two and a half weeks for $50,000, the vibrant, engaging Website for Amway's new Internet-based business, Quixtar, attracted one million hits in the first month and continues to receive 30 million monthly visits.

Agency: McCann Relationship Marketing, New York

Advertiser: Ethicon Endo-Surgery

Campaign: "Tiny Breakthrough"

Pharmaceutical direct-to-consumer advertising is becoming ubiquitous, but Johnson & Johnson's surgery division takes DTC one-step farther by advertising a medical procedure. Based on its magazine ads for mammotome, an alternative to open surgery for breast biopsies, 18,000-plus women have requested further information, providing Ethicon Endo-Surgery with a database of possible patients.


Agency: Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.

Advertiser: Geico Corp.

Campaign: "The Sensible Alternative: Antitestimonial Radio Campaign"

The auto insurer's 30-second radio spot was quick and to the point-just what Geico wanted to highlight about its 15-minute rate quote and fast claims handling. The yearlong effort brought in 44% more new policies than 1997, the biggest jump in its history.

Agency: Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.

Advertiser: Geico Corp.

Campaign: "The Sensible Alternative: Duck/Constellation"

This TV half of Geico's 1998 campaign was cut into two 15-second commercials to emphasize a 15-minute rate quote and 15% savings. The insurer had a 44% boost in telephone inquiries.

Agency: Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.

Advertiser: Geico Corp.

Campaign: "The Sensible Alternative: TV Campaign"

The 12-month $30 million media crusade kept the auto insurer on track with its 40% average annual growth rate of the last four years.

Agency: Janine Miller Inc., Tenafly, N.J.

Advertiser: CIT Group Campaign: "Partners for the Long Climb"

Proving it could secure clients on tough, financial terrain, this business lender sent a mountaineering ax and coil of climbing rope to 350 prospective clients.

Nikon camera was thrown in to entice. The 80% response rate locked in 47 new clients for a total of $154 million in new business-from a $180,000-priced campaign.

Agency: OgilvyOne Worldwide, New York

Advertiser: American Express Co.

Campaign: "1998 White Glove Treatment Campaign"

The mail, print and TV/radio ads explained how AmEx could cut through all the clutter of numerous Walt Disney World promotions to plan the ultimate amusement park vacation. It sold more White Glove vacation packages last year than ever before.


Agency: Rosen/Brown Direct, Portland, Ore.

Advertiser: 3M Corp.

Campaign: "3M Advanced Meeting Solutions New Product Launch"

3M enticed businesses to fill out a questionnaire about its three new conference products by giving each an opportunity to preview the products pre-launch. The 11,000 responses resulted in the discovery that the timing for one of the new products was not quite right.


Agency: Malchow Adams & Hussey, Washington

Advertiser: Clinton Legal Expense Trust

Campaign: "New Donor Fund-raising Prospect"

The Clinton Legal Expense Trust decided less is more when it comes to a presidential scandal. The trust mailed a modest letter to raise funds for the First Family's immense legal bills. The $2.6 million result was staggering-the best in the agency's history.

Agency: Malchow Adams & Hussey, Washington

Advertiser: Sierra Club

Campaign: "Sierra Club John Muir Society Invitation"

Sierra Club sent out 3,890 invitations with real signatures and personal business cards from the Muir Society. This package, which cost 64% less than an old, impersonal invitation, raised almost 200% more gross income than the previous year and led to 147 new Muir members.

Agency: Malchow Adams & Hussey, Washington

Advertiser: Whitman-Walker Clinic

Campaign: "Whitman-Walker Clinic's Hot Advo Neighborhood Prospect Letter"

Whitman-Walker Clinic took its fund-raising to the streets, literally, when it mailed letters to all residents in target neighborhoods using Advo's mass delivery service-a tactic never before successful with charities. The clinic made it work by recruiting local volunteer supporters to encourage neighborly cooperation. The average gift doubled.

Agency: Russ Reid Co., Pasadena, Calif.

Advertiser: World Vision U.S.

Campaign: "World Vision Birthday Bounceback"

World Vision's new campaign asking sponsors to sign a child's birthday poster and send an additional check to help the child's community had an astonishing 72% response rate that raised $2 million-plus.

Agency: Russ Reid Co., Pasadena, Calif.

Advertiser: World Vision U.S.

Campaign: "World Vision Christmas Bounceback"

Similar to the birthday campaign, World Vision's Christmas package received from 71% of the sponsors a 24% gain over the previous year.

Agency: Russ Reid Co., Pasadena, Calif.

Advertiser: World Vision U.S.

Campaign: "World Vision Pumpkin Seeds"

Last autumn, a packet of pumpkin seeds forced 25,000 people to make a critical decision: Throw them out, or send them back with a gift to aid an African family. The campaign more than doubled projected income.

Agency: Wallace, Wright, Ky.

Advertiser: Disabled American Veterans

Campaign: "1999 Commanders Club Credentials"

With an aging population, this veterans association suffered from a five-year decline in net income. For this membership drive, touting the latest technology in graphics and personalization, net income rose 22% from 1998, for a total of $2.5 million.


Agency: FCB Direct, New York

Advertiser: Kraft Foods: Gevalia Kaffe

Campaign: "If your passion is coffee . . ."

The mail-order European gourmet coffee, suffering from a surge in Starbucks popularity, went after new coffee lovers through ads on Lifetime, Food Network and direct mail to former customers. Orders via a toll-free number and Website increased by 300% and brand awareness shot up 72%.


Agency: Rodale's (In House) Creative Department, Emmaus, Pa.

Advertiser: Rodale Press: Men's Health Magazine

Campaign: "Expert Tips for Men"

The men's magazine eased itself into 1,000 new subscriptions with its attention-grabbing You Can Do It action lists.


Agency: Carlson Marketing Group, Minneapolis

Advertiser: Hallmark Cards

Campaign: "Hallmark Gold Crown Card Program"

The greeting card company's Gold Crown Card program hiked its roster by 18% and increased member spending by 19.2%, or $235 million, after it segmented its customer database and sent personalized, emotional mailings on special occasions throughout the year.

Agency: Direct Partners, Santa Monica

Advertiser: Universal Studios

Campaign: "Universal Studios City Food"

Beetlejuice and other Universal Studios characters hand delivered personalized packages to the top 100 restaurants in Los Angeles to tempt restaurateurs to book one of eight food court openings in its new mall. In the package, the owners found their own restaurant menu and logo affixed on an architectural

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