Merlin DM MOTHER'S DAY by J. Walter Thompson London

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers
Media Direct marketing
Market United Kingdom
Agency J. Walter Thompson London
Executive Creative Director Russell Ramsey
Creative Director Jason Berry
Art Director Matt Leach
Copywriter Jess Oudot
Illustrator Avril Broadley
Released March 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Direct Response Print or Standard Outdoor, including Inserts
Advertiser: MERLIN
Product/Service: HEALTH CHARITY
Art Director: Matt Leach (JWT)
Copywriter: Jess Oudot (JWT)
Creative Director: Jason Berry (JWT)
Executive Creative Director: Russell Ramsey (JWT)
Designer/Typographer: Casa Hamid (JWT)
Illustrator: Avril Broadley (Broadbase)
Project Manager: Ian Hughes (JWT)
Account Director: Christopher Godfree (JWT)
Account Manager: Natalie Morgan (JWT)
Planner: Kimberly Douglas (JWT)
Media placement: Press execution - 1 spot - The Big Issue - 12th March 2012

Describe the brief/objective of the direct campaign.
Every day thousands of women in impoverished countries die during pregnancy or childbirth because they don’t have access to basic health care.

Merlin (one of the UK’s leading international health charities) briefed us to create a press ad that would raise awareness of this shocking issue and generate donations so they can tackle the problem.

The strategy was to use Mother’s Day as an opportunity to target people. The target audience was new donors.

Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective with reference to the projected response rates and desired outcome.
Virtually everyone buys their mum a card for Mother’s Day. This gave us an idea.

Instead of running a conventional press ad, we created a double-sided ad that could be cut out and folded into a free Mother’s Day card. The copy encouraged people to give the card to their mum on Mother’s Day and donate the money they would have spent on a shop-bought card to Merlin.

The desired outcome was that the creative would not only raise awareness and donations amongst people who saw the ad, but also amongst a second audience – the mums who received the card.

Explain why the creative execution was relevant to the product or service.
The strength of the creative lies in its innovative use of the media. Instead of running a conventional press ad, we provided people with something they were going to buy anyway – a Mother’s Day card – and asked them for the money they would have spent. Which essentially made it free to donate.

Another strength was that the creative stood out because it didn’t look like a conventional ad.

It was perfect for the brand because it answered their brief using an occasion that was relevant to their cause.

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.
The creative received a fantastic response. Donations increased by an impressive 29% during the time that it ran. It also received free PR on numerous blogs and news websites.