The winners of this year's awards, announced last night, include both familiar and little-known agencies and clients. They also represent all parts of the world, from Singapore to Switzerland. Also, interactive awards were given for the first time this year.
Yet these campaigns have one thing in common: they embody the best work in direct marketing.
Following, in alphabetical order of agencies, are descriptions of this year's Gold Echo winners. (The winners of the Diamond, Gold Mailbox and Platinum Echos are on Page S-6.)
Agency: Ball Direct, North Sydney, Australia. Advertiser: Ciba-Geigy Australia. Campaign: "Summer Campaign"
A campaign for Ciba-Geigy's Program Flea Treatment for cats and dogs successfully reached targets in both the consumer and business segments: women over age 25, and veterinarians and their nurses. Through print ads, a toll-free phone number and direct mail to clinics and consumers, the campaign boosted the brand's stature. Aided brand awareness jumped to 63%, and 73% of vet nurses now recommend Program, up from 4%.
Agency: Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis. Advertiser: Harley-Davidson. Campaign: "Harley-Davidson Genuine Dealer Promotion"
The motorcycle marketer looked to build brand image and dealership loyalty and traffic by establishing the Harley "Genuine Dealer" as a key contact for the brand. The campaign included direct mailings sent to motorcycle owners, as well as print, TV and radio ads placed locally by dealers. The program helped dealers increase fourth-quarter 1995 sales of parts and accessories 18.5% from the previous-year period.
Agency: Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel, London. Advertiser: Land Rover. Campaign: "A Country Affair"
Some 4,000 Range Rover owners were mailed an invitation to a one-day outing at castles and stately homes across England to test-drive new Range Rovers on a challenging off-road track. First-class catering, hospitality and activities ensured success for the $225,000 campaign designed to enhance customer perception of the brand, build loyalty and ultimately encourage re-purchase. The response rate was a staggering 82%-strong enough to have dealers ask that a follow-up mailing be canceled.
Advertiser: Disabled American Veterans (in-house). Campaign: "Deep Powder, High Hopes"
Although non-profit organizations faced a difficult environment in corporate fundraising, DAV strived to boost sponsorship revenue of its 1995 National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic by 20% over the 1994 total of about $168,000. The group opted for a three-mailing program to 900 top executives, with a video explaining the event and sponsorship benefits sent in the last drop. The program helped increase sponsorship income to $250,000, 66% over the previous year, and attracted 17 new sponsors, beating the goal of 10.
Agency: W.B. Doner & Co., Baltimore. Advertiser: Bell Atlantic Nynex Mobile. Campaign: "Two Sides"
The mobile phone service used a direct-response approach on TV to generate qualified leads among non-traditional cellular users for its "Talk-Along" low-cost cellular service. The ads were customized and tracked by market, allowing media to be adjusted daily. The spots generated 106,795 calls, with a 14.7% conversion rate and an average cost per sale of about $142-much less than the $250 from a previous direct-response TV campaign.
Advertiser: Lilypons Water Gardens (in-house). Campaign: "Lilypons Water Gardens 1996 Catalog"
The marketer of gardening products was able to do the impossible with its flagship catalog: increase sales by 15%, while cutting production and mailing costs by 30%. The 76-page catalog featured a reduced picture size but kept an aura of graciousness by using full-bleed photos. The $242,000 program received a 10% response rate, 25% higher than the previous year's.
Agency: M&V Direktmarketing GmbH, Munich. Advertiser: Peugeot Talbot Deutschland GmbH. Campaign: "Customer Bait-Active Partner Competition '95" (shown on Page S-1, bottom right)
To motivate its dealers and salespeople in Germany, Peugeot created the Customer Bait program, bugeted at $88,500. The 585 Peugeot dealers there received a mailing featuring motivational brochures and test-drive forms-and a fishing rod for the dealer and a fish hook for the salesperson as a way of bringing the contest to life. Not only did 82% of recipients participate, but 78% of participants maintained or gained sales within their areas.
Agency: McCann Direct, New York. Advertiser: Nestle USA's Carnation baby formulas. Campaign: "Carnation Special Delivery Club"
With the goals of communicating the product line's qualities and building a database of consumer names, Carnation developed its Special Delivery Club. Direct-response TV and print ads gathered names of new or expecting mothers, who were given information on pregnancy, baby development and the marketer's baby products. The campaign, budgeted at about $4 million, exceeded client expectations; for example, 95% of club members referred friends or relatives, helping augment the database.
Agency: Janine Miller Inc., Tenafly, N.J. Advertiser: CIT Group. Campaign: "The Open Road Campaign'CIT Group, which offers customized asset-based financing, looked to generate activity in the middle-market heavy construction and manufacturing arena. The financer sent mailings to 275 prime prospects that compared the company to Harley-Davidson: a "classic that has been around for generations." The $200,000 program recorded a 50% conversion rate and helped the company build new financing business of $86 million.
Agency: PriMedia Inc., Warwick, R.I. Advertiser: Massachusetts Electric. Campaign: "Electric Heat Efficiency Program"
PriMedia helped resuscitate an almost-dead program that gave a free energy audit and installation of energy-saving equipment to customers with electric-heated homes. The mailing, budgeted at about $41,000, resulted in a 12.2% response and 1,072 audits. As a result, the utility retained the program and approved a much larger mailing in 1996.
Agency: Russ Reid Co., Pasadena, Calif. Advertiser: World Vision U.S. Campaign: "August Notebook Bounceback"
Aiming to raise $800,000 to continue care for unsponsored children, World Vision sent its child sponsors a package with a back-to-school notebook for the donor to sign and send to their child. The package also included a request for an additional gift to help an unsponsored child. The personal concept helped World Vision raise almost $1 million, on a total budget of about $118,000.
Agency: Rhea & Kaiser Advertising, Naperville, Ill. Advertiser: Evanston Hospital Corp. Campaign: "Evanston Hospital Corp. Maternity Campaign"
To familiarize prospective mothers with Evanston Hospital's name, and to increase the number of births at the facility by 10%, the suburban Chicago hospital created a relationship program through direct mail to 15,000 women, newspaper ads for maternity seminars and a phone hotline for seminar enrollment or obstetrician referrals. The $350,000 program helped increase the number of births there by 5%, depsite total births falling 8% in the hospital's trading area.
Agency: Scotland Direct (Holdings) Ltd., Biggar, Scotland. Advertiser: The Whisky Connoisseur. Campaign: "Caskmaster"
The distiller garnered a 26.8% response rate with a simple approach to sell its $100 bottles of premium whisky in a sluggish market. Some 900 customers from an in-house list were sent a mailing, which included a bottle label and literature on the spirits. The whole campaign cost only $1,800 and resulted in sales totaling $73,109.
Agency: Wunderman Cato Johnson, Lisbon. Advertiser: Colombo Shopping Center. Campaign: "Colombo"
The developer of Colombo, an under-construction shopping center that will be Portugal's largest, sought major retailers to fill available spaces. Some 110 prospects were sent a huge book, similar to those used by ancient navigators to record their findings, that presented the mall and included a pre-programmed mobile phone on the last page to contact the center's sales staff. The $130,000 program not only netted 60 rental contracts but created a buzz about the center; almost all 450 store spaces have been rented.