George Smith (of Smith Bundy fame), the Simon Cowell of the charity world, once said to me. “We have a really simple job to do – write to really nice people.”
And that is what the creatives at DMS who put together this piece of work; a direct marketing pack for the National Trust’s annual ‘For Ever, For Everyone’, clearly understand.
The tone is respectful and sincere, the implication is that the respondent is not only a nice person, but considerate and generous as well.
This is important. Achieving the right tone of voice is not something to be sneezed at. Lots of brands, in their desperation to sell or stand out, lose their tone of voice. In a modern world, where a brand must ‘talk’ online, in the press, in forums, on the telly – understanding your tone of voice, and sticking to it, is an important tool in the creative toolbox.
Recession or not, when children are dying and animals continue to suffer, getting nice people to give their money to national treasures continues to be challenging. More than ever, you need to make the “need” seem both urgent and worthy.
This is achieved in this piece by showing iconic UK landmarks, however, rather than the postcard picture you expect, one-third of each image is left blank and surrounded by a dotted line. This is to bring home the fact that one-third of the organisation’s work is funded by donations. The thought is reiterated in the line: “Membership alone can’t protect our nation’s most iconic places.”
Set against a white background, the beautiful British landmarks are made the hero of the creative. To further incentivise and encourage responses, there is also a competition to win a behind-the-scenes tour of either Quarry Bank Mill, Charlecote Park or Wicken Fen.
Time will tell if this campaign delivers, however, with the National Trust’s loyal following and their ability to stand out in the increasingly crowded and competitive market place, this simple but effective idea stands it in good stead to ensure the UK’s treasures will remain for ever, for everyone to enjoy.
Caitlin Ryan is executive creative director at Proximity London