Netting eyeballs

Who says there's no creativity in direct? As the work we've chosen to showcase here reflects, direct marketing can spin a very strategic web - and not just because of the promotional offers.

Who says there’s no creativity in direct? As the work we’ve chosen to showcase here reflects, direct marketing can spin a very strategic web – and not just because of the promotional offers.

Why do these campaigns work? Because they get personal. They not only speak to a well-defined target, but when coupled with striking visuals or an Internet push, they break through the clutter to score enviable results.

Here are strategy’s picks – in categories as varied as financial to charity to coloured contact lenses – for DM campaigns that crank it up a notch.

The objective

Playing the vanity card, the Lowe RMP campaign, which ran from mid-May to the end of September last year, targeted the group most likely to abandon dowdy glasses for trendy colour contacts: fickle 13- to 24-year-old young women. Says Lowe RMP account director Stacey Jarvis: ‘[This group] is conscious about how they look, they want to be up-to-date and they’re reading fashion magazines.’

The direct marketing campaign was the first for the J&J brand, which was losing some market share to CIBA Vision’s new Focus Night and Day product. The goal was to generate 6,680 inquiries, acquire about 530 new Acuvue 2 clients, and carve out a segment of users previously overlooked.

The strategy

About 20,000 mail-outs were shipped to young women across the country – contacts generated from an internal company list based on previous entries to contests, and from list brokers with a fashion-and-beauty slant. The materials were designed with splashy teen-friendly pinks and pastel blues (the art director’s even in her early 20s) and tested three different offers: a $20 mail-in rebate, a free colour lens trial, and a combination of the two. The campaign was supported by eyeblasters that showed a teen girl caricature walking onto Web sites visited by young women ( and MSN, for example) and yanking off her glasses in a huff. A pop-up clickthrough component then led to the three offers.

E-mails that combined elements of both the direct mail and the eyeblaster were sent to about 60,000 girls.

The results

While J&J says all the numbers are not yet in, the first goal – the number of hits – was exceeded by about 50%, with close to 10,000 inquiries. The eyeblaster was also effective, generating a clickthrough rate of over 5% in English-speaking Canada and over 7% in Quebec. The average is about 2.5%, says Jarvis.

Most girls were drawn to the free trial pair, then the combo offer, and finally the $20 rebate. Seems the J&J folks were so impressed that they’ve requested another campaign, using a similar strategy for a new product to be launched in the coming months.

Client: Johnson & Johnson

Vision Care Acuvue 2

Agency: Lowe RMP, Toronto

CD: Martin Strazovec

Copywriter: Shawn Heissler

AD: An Hyunh

Production: Tuyet LeMac