Direct: Direct choice - Department for Education and Skills

Eight out of 10 garments in my wardrobe are black. Most of the walls in my house are painted in a muted Farrow & Ball hue. Thank heavens for the influence of my two-year-old daughter Lilo. As anyone with kids will know, all attempts at studied casualness are doomed. Whether it's the garish plastic toys that take over your home or the bits of breakfast/lunch/dinner that end up on your clothes, they bring some welcome colour and chaos into your life.

That's what I like about this Department for Education and Skills mailing: it's not afraid to have some fun. It's bright, charmingly illustrated, and single-mindedly positive.

In real life, the whys and wherefores of childcare are surrounded by emotional angst and guilt. Wisely, this mailer avoids addressing that whole debate, leaving it as a matter for parents. Instead, it focuses on how formal childcare can free up your time for getting back to work or studying, while giving your children some structured care and supervision.

The copy is clear, concise and benefit-led, and the warmth of the drawings lift the whole piece. I'm sure it will get a good response from the target audience. And it's nice to see the normally reserved government marketing department letting its hair down. It shows the power kids can have.

Now, it might be time for me to add some yellow or fuchsia to my summer wardrobe.

Mailer: Clark McKay and Walpole.


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