Direct choice: Save The Children

Being a generous soul I have managed to find myself on many a charity mailing list, and time and again I have wondered how they ever get a response from the rather hackneyed, repetitive messages they so often trot out. It was therefore a welcome surprise to find a charity mailing that breaks the mould - bright, colourful, a dash of humour, yet with a clear and serious message.

How many of us have worked out the amount of money we waste on a daily basis? This 'Skip a treat' campaign hits at the heart of our excessive consumerism without an overt guilt trip. It creates a clear, easy-to-understand message: give something up that you don't really need and help someone else in the process.

The envelope's use of the Dairy Milk colours and the 'don't buy now' flash quickly convey the essence of the campaign and make you want to read on. Inside there are a few too many fiddly pieces, but the letter copy is straightforward and clearly informs you what your small abstinence will achieve.

The timing, however, could have been better. With Lent only just over, my resolve is weak - next year perhaps the mailing could coincide with Lent. Also, the campaign failed to follow through to the donation form, so I couldn't tell Save the Children what sacrifice I was making. This could be a PR opportunity for next year's campaign.

- Direct agency: Proximity London.


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