FCB Direct’s creative coup

FCB Direct and its new creative duo have released some enviable results to the recent teaser campaigns it ran to promote the much-talked-about hush-hush appointment.

FCB Direct and its new creative duo have released some enviable results to the recent teaser campaigns it ran to promote the much-talked-about hush-hush appointment.

Designed to feed off the industry buzz that began when Scott Pinkney and Dean Maruna announced their departure from Mosaic Direct – betting pools were created in at least two agencies – the campaign kicked off at the end of March with an e-mail teaser to 110 client and agency contacts. Recipients wanting the scoop on their next move were encouraged to visit www.wherearescottanddeanheaded.com, submit their best guess (correct guesses were entered into a contest to win lunch or dinner with Pinkney and Maruna), and register to receive e-mail notification as soon as the news was made official.

According to Marie-Josée Vinet, VP managing director of FCB Direct’s Toronto office, where the two have now set up shop both as VP, creative director, the first e-mail generated 268 visitors to the site.

‘It had a great viral component. That’s the kind of response rate anyone would love to get,’ she says. ‘Roughly 50% of respondents gave us a real guess, but most people commented on the intriguing approach.’

Of the 268 initial visitors, 102 registered to receive the subsequent e-mail, which drove people back to the site to find out Pinkney and Maruna’s new posting – on the second go around, the site clocked 297 visits.

‘The industry needs a bit of intrigue. There was so much speculation about where we were going – that’s how the whole thing started,’ says Pinkney, who along with cohort of almost nine years Maruna, began work at FCB Direct April 8 – lured by the Montreal-based agency’s commitment to creative in direct.

‘The creative department is only as good as the support you get from senior management – that was a big thing for us,’ says Maruna, lamenting the fact that that creative balance doesn’t always exist in direct marketing. ‘About four or five years ago, there was a lot of emphasis on cutting edge creative – creative for the sake of creative. But the fundamentals of direct were lost when that was happening. My sense is that people have gone back to basics a bit – to what really worked in direct and what has worked for the last 80 years. The creative product is still important, but the balance isn’t quite there.’

Creative leadership in Canada, he continues, is often coming from general advertising agencies – sometimes sacrificing direct marketing basics.

‘Tried and true direct marketers who understand the basic principles, have the creative flare and have the great strategic thinking, are going to be among the agencies that really excel.’

Before rounding out the creative team at FCB Direct, Pinkney and Maruna were senior VPs, co-creative directors and founding members of Mosaic Direct, the direct marketing arm of Mosaic Group.