The Fashion Commissioners: Whitewater direct marketing

In the letter box this week came a rather official-looking communication, compete with harp symbol, from the "Fashion Commissioners". It's done up like it was some kind of form from the Government to update the voters' register or something ("Important: Updates Enclosed" on the front), but it folds out into a direct mail marketing communication from Whitewater Shopping Centre. It's very clever, and very well laid out.

Under "Subsection 2" there's a list of the shops at the Centre. There's a FAQ section, with questions like "Can I access information online?" and "Do I need to out any forms?" in which they take the opportunity to tell you more about Whitewater in good clean copy, switching between light-hearted humour and straight information.

Best of all is the main section, "Notice of key location for assistance under the retail therapy reform act, 2008", which comes dangerously close to putting you off reading further, but once you get over that hump it's great copy, combining a tongue-in-cheek take on official speak with a few important marketing messages:

"The Retail Therapy Reform Act 2008 was introduced to ensure a sufficiently high level of choice and style for shoppers across Ireland. As a direct result of the Act, Whitewater Shopping Centre has been chosen by the Fashion Commission, under subsection B, as a key location to ensure the full implementation of the Act. However, it has come to to our attention that some shoppers remain unaware that Whitewater, Ireland's largest shopping centre outside Dublin, is located in Newbridge, Co Kildare and offers over 70 top stores to fulfil the retail therapy needs of every man, woman or child."

Credit should go to Spirit Marketing for this production.

(As an aside, my only issue with Whitewater in terms of copy is their slogan: "the source of inspiration". It sounds too much like they want you to go there just to get ideas, not to make purchases. It's too vague and wishy washy, in my opinion; not inspiring enough, in fact.)

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