Global Literacy Project DM MY FIRST BOOK PROJECT by J. Walter Thompson Cape Town

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers
Media Direct marketing
Market South Africa
Agency J. Walter Thompson Cape Town
Art Director Ross Nieuwenhuizen Ogilvy, Alison Sutcliffe-Smit
Copywriter Conn Bertish
Released September 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Charities, Public Health & Safety, Public Awareness Messages
Date of First Appearance: Sep 1 2009 12:00AM
Entry URL:
Creative Director: Conn Bertish (JWT Cape Town)
Art Director: Alison Sutcliffe (JWT Cape Town)
Art Director: Ross Nieuwenhuizen (JWT Cape Town)
Copywriter: Conn Bertish (JWT Cape Town)
Media placement: Viral Film - Email Campaign - 01 September 2009

Describe the brief/objective of the direct campaign.
Developing nations face a literacy crisis. Only 20% of schools have books and children literally don’t have the books to learn from. We wanted to do something to help. We wanted to get first learner reader books into the hands of these kids. The target audience was two fold: People in our advertising network, and underprivileged children in developing countries. Our strategy was to show and inspire people that by transforming a piece of waste; they could transform the life of a child.

Explain why the creative execution was relevant to the product or service.
The execution was upbeat, hand-made and positive. And the idea was so simple; the best kind. So simple you could kick yourself. After all, those piles of stock books have been sitting around for ages, with no use, with all those pictures, just waiting for words. A truly obvious, original idea. It is appropriate for the brand because it is honest and positive and relies on human goodness and charity. It is also fun, because let’s face it; everyone secretly wants to write a book.

Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective with reference to the projected response rates and desired outcome.
Why not transform piles of defunct stock images books cluttering up ad agencies into first-learner reader books. We created a viral film and mailed it to 200 offices in our global advertising network. We wanted to create a sustainable source of recycled education material that could be sent to places that needed it. Our desired outcome was to receive any number of My First Books from recipients of our mail. We had no real projected response rate, and were relying on the inspiring nature of direct mail recycling idea and the simple direct digital video to inspire colleagues to contribute.

Describe the results in as much detail as possible with particular reference to the RESPONSE of the target audience including deliverability statistics, response rates, click throughs, sales cost per response, relationships built and overall return on investment.
We sent the mail to our entire network, approximately 10 000 individuals. 3072 of them responded by physically creating a My First Book (30.72% response rate). Every book adhered to deliverables expressed in the mail. The idea, based on recycling an existing resource, allowed the sales cost per response to be zero. Relationships were formed between a global advertising network and employees and The World Literacy Foundation and underprivileged children it aims to assist. Return on investment was vast. The cost of the in-house video compared to education value added to the lives of over 90 000 children, is immeasurable.