DM Award’s Best in Show: love conspiracy

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Having spent a couple of years in Direct Marketing, I still find the practice fascinating. I must admit that I never got down to any heavy duty analysis of a DM campaign myself, having spent much of my time on conceptualization and execution. The hallmark of a good DM campaign is a continuous dialogue and not just a single mail-shot campaign. The process of engaging the right target audience over a serious of personalized communication campaigns can be satisfying. That’s true of this campaign for a New Zealand retailer called The Warehouse which engaged their buyers over time with a relevant experience during last year’s Valentines Day.

The promise? The ultimate way to impress their girlfriends or wives without having to spend any money. The campaign featured a ‘secret’ microsite for men only – accessible only upon completion of a “Are you a man?” quiz, e-mail messages and a live event that got the attention of both men and women. The retailer flew a plane with a romantic message reading, “Babe, I Love You” trailing behind it. Each male ‘conspirator’ was instructed to tell the women in their lives that they had arranged for the special plane. By registering with the retailer, the men could vote for the message and for where the plane would fly. They were also given suggestions for additional romantic Valentine’s Day gifts available at The Warehouse.

The campaign, created by AIM Proximity, won The Best in Show at the recently concluded Caples 2009 Awards for DM Excellence. My memory of the classical direct marketing campaign was rooted on the quality of database, an understanding of the audience, the offer and the post campaign analysis. The kind of DM that is practiced still by Readers Digest. This one may have used such methods too. But today’s DM is an amalgam of  any medium that offers interactivity and personalization to enable a dialogue.

The Warehouse campaign is proof that DM works or that men are such suckers?

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