As a copywriter working for top UK advertising and direct marketing agencies in the late 1980s / early 1990s, I won a number of copywriting awards including the DMA (Direct Marketing Association) Awards for Innovation & Off-the-page Advertising.
The Direct Marketing Association says: "In our eyes, a great campaign gets results. We judge strategy, creativity and results. With a fine tooth comb. That's what makes a DMA Award rewardingly hard to win."
A spy theme inspired Yorkshire Electricity's mailer to remind retail staff why its customer service was 'unYEbeatable' (YE's slogan). A cassette tape was hidden inside a realistic paperback spy novel - and throughout the text hints at the unYEbeatable message. The campaign generated an outstanding response of 100 per cent (the response device was a bookmark).
Sharp invited key suppliers to a Brown Goods Show with the slogan: 'Nothing makes sense like a Sharp'. To reinforce this message, nothing on the mailer makes sense. The pencil has a rubber at both ends, the puzzles in the puzzle book don't work and the Introduction is gobbledygook. Only when you get to the Conclusion does everything become clear with the message that only Sharp makes sense.
Stones (part of Bass Breweries) was sponsoring the Rugby League Premiership. An advertisement showing a rugby player passing a phone instead of a ball was part of a campaign to persuade fans to buy their Rugby League Premiership Finals tickets by phone. All seats were sold in record time.
M&B Breweries used incentivised direct mail to persuade tenants to buy soft drinks direct from the brewery. A rolled up message concealed inside a can unravelled to reveal the 48 bottles which tenants would receive free when they switched suppliers.