Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The email campaign trail

In fewer than 24 hours, the polls will open and us Brits will be able to vote in the general election to shape the country’s future. If you haven’t yet made up your mind who to vote for, the following emails from cataloguers and online retailers won’t help you much, but they are an irreverent look at how the election was used as a marketing opportunity.

Attention, Boden needs your vote- choose your offer wisely‏
Premise: Just two parties in Boden’s email—the stripes party and the spots party. Each has a different offer. Vote for spots and receive £15 off a £100 spend. Voting for stripes, which "campaigns" for a VAT-free Britain, gives the recipient 17.5 percent off.
Our vote: This definitely gets our cross in the box. A great offer and superb creative—when it comes to memorable emails, Boden never fails to deliver.

Feather & Black
Vote for Style! Up to 50% off This Bank Holiday Week...
Premise: Bed and bedding retailer Feather & Black is tired of the hype around the general election, so it’s running its own election campaign. Feather & Black is calling on customers to go to its stores and vote for their favourite product to be in with a chance of winning a Salisbury Panelled Bed worth £599. As well as the star prize, Feather & Black is also running a sale with up to 40 percent off, plus a further 10 percent off during the bank holiday weekend.
Our vote: Although dominating the subject line, the words election and voting seem secondary to the main thrust of its email, which focuses on promoting the bank holiday sale. Perfect for those bored of hearing about manifestos and promises.
Title: If we ruled the world - the Firebox Manifesto‏
Premise: Firebox’s party political broadcast calls for compulsory radio-controlled helicopter flying lessons on the curriculum and a knighthood for David Hasselhoff.
Our vote: Plenty of product, plenty of tongue-in-cheek humour, but I don’t think I’d really want to live in Firebox’s Utopia. And the policies all seem a bit obvious—was this email more hastily put together than Firebox’s other missives?

Pets at Home
Title: Brown and Cameron-themed dog toys plus huge deals on cat and dog food‏
Premise: Pets at Home runs with a promotion for dog toys in the shape of David Cameron and Gordon Brown. The idea is that presented with both toys your pet pooch will pick his desired prime minister.
Our vote: In interests of fairness we abstain from voting as there’s no Nick Clegg doll.

Title: Who gets your vote?‏
Premise: A serious note from Waterstone’s. No gimmicks, just political books to provide the recipients of this email all the background information they should need on each of the parties and candidates.
Our vote: The early bird catches the worm. Waterstone’s gets top marks for sending the email on the first day of campaigning. That’s enough time to read more than one book—smart, eh?--MT

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