MCM Awards 2008

Sep 01, 2008 9:30 PM  By

It’s not easy to be the best

In fact, it’s quite hard to put forth the effort that goes into flawless catalog creative, seamless Website navigation, unique, targeted merchandise, a solid marketing plan and superior customer service. That’s why the Gold and Silver winners profiled here are recipients of our industry’s highest recognition: the Multichannel Merchant Awards. And we are honored to present the best of the best.

The JUDGES for the 2008 Multichannel Merchant Awards

AMY AFRICA, chief imagin.8.tion officer, Eight by Eight

BRIAN BASS, director, product development and production, eToys Direct

GEOFFREY BATROUNEY, executive vice president, Estee Marketing Group

LARRY BECKER, vice president and principal, Website effectiveness, The Rimm-Kaufman Group

MONIQUE BERGER, director of print production, The Territory Ahead

JOHN BORTA, principal, The Borta Corp.

MARK BRIDGES, vice president/director, international, Millard Group

KEN BURKE, founder/chief evangelist, MarketLive

CHRIS CARRINGTON, president, Catalogs by Lorel

KEVIN CHURCHILL, director of merchandise, Patagonia

PETER COBB, cofounder/vice president, marketing and merchandising, eBags

SARAH FLETCHER, creative director, Catalog Design Studios

LAUREN FREEDMAN, president, the E-tailing Group

MORLEE GRISWOLD, business development consultant

MARTIN GROSS-ALBENHAUSEN, editor-in-chief, Der Versandhausberater

JAMES HARKINS, vice president marketing, Solutions Catalog

JEFF HARVEY, marketing manager, Edmund Optics

JAMES KLAUS, president, Children’s Wear Digest

MARY ANN KLEINFELTER, director of marketing, L-com

JULIE KOBLISKA, vice president, general manager, Copperfield Chimney Supply

ROBIN LEBO, president, Lebo Direct

MARK LEE, president, The Mark Lee Group

JOHN LENSER, president, Lenser

BARRY LITWIN, senior vice president, marketing, Newark Electronics

IAIN MAC DONALD, principal, Casa Consulting

LAWRENCE MARMON, partner, Lenser (former president, J.C. Whitney & Co.)

PHIL NIEMEYER, president, Nasco International

DON OAKES, senior vice president, creative, L.L. Bean

KIMBERLY PAINLEY, president, Kinetic Marketing Consultants

BUD REED, founder/president, Timberland Interactive

TOM ROSENBAUER, marketing director, Orvis Rod and Tackle, The Orvis Co.

JACK ROSENFELD, chairman, Potpourri Group

JACK SCHMID, founder, J. Schmid & Associates

LINDA SPELLMAN, vice president, direct response, Hickory Farms

JENNY SUPER, vice president marketing, Galls

GINA VALENTINO, owner, Hemisphere Marketing

CAROLYN WALTERS FOX, director, marketing and public relations, Country Walkers

CRAIG WINER, vice president, Garrett Wade

MARIA YOUTH, senior manager, business development, Epsilon

B-to-B
MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT OF THE YEAR

[ Also won — GOLD: Print Channel | COMPUTER AND HIGH-TECH EQUIPMENT | Black Box Network Services 2007; SILVER: Web Channel | COMPUTER AND HIGH-TECH EQUIPMENT | www.blackbox.com ]

Black Box Corp.


What makes a winner in business-to-business direct marketing? Excellent merchandising, clear, informative copy, terrific design and exceptional service — same as in consumer cataloging. And if you can do all of that in print and online, selling a product line as unsexy as network services and accessories, you are a master merchant.

WHY IT WON B-TO-B MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT OF THE YEAR: You wouldn’t expect anyone to refer to a catalog of network services and accessories as “very creative and entertaining.” But that’s how one judge described the opening spreads Black Box has for each section in the catalog.

For instance, the section opener for Peripheral Switches & Sharers shows a photo of a crying baby; copy reads “Is sharing difficult? No flow control? Bring back that smile with our Peripheral Switches & Sharers!”

On the Web, copy makes good use of benefit heads and detailed specifications, said one panelist. “There’s also great free tech support throughout, and the integrated catalog request function is part of the left navigation — which makes it easy to find!” the judge said.

IDEA TO STEAL: Bigger doesn’t need to be bloated. Although it’s 922 pages, Black Box does a great job of organizing its merchandise, a judge said. “Even with this large assortment, the catalog is very simple to navigate.” — Melissa Dowling

BLACK BOX CORP.


PRINT


Director/manager of publication services: Julia Leigh

Catalog supervisor: Deborah Baran

Designers: Dallene Davis, Roy Geer, Bill Hannen, Shari Scott, Joe Slebonick, Megan Vaites, David Wheaton

Writers: Caren Bachman, Rob Baran, Johnathan Decker, Jean Massaro, Andrew Phillips, Roberta Szyper

Traffic/production: Missy Brytus, Jennifer Galbraith

Photographer: Rich Angeloff

Editorial: Julie Daubner, Beth Frederick

Printer/color separator/prepress provider: R.R. Donnelley

List manager: Inhouse

WEBSITE


Marketing manager: Greg Gendron

Webmasters: John Bonessi, Kim Clougherty, Black Box MIS department

Designers/writers/photographers: Julia Leigh, Black Box publications services department

Consultants: Elliance

B-to-C
MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT OF THE YEAR

[ Also won — SILVER: Print Channel | APPAREL | L.L. Bean, Christmas 2007; SILVER: Web Channel | APPAREL | www.llbean.com; SILVER: Print Channel | BUSINESS SPECIALTY PRODUCTS | L.L. Bean, Direct to Business, Holiday 2007; GOLD: Print Channel | CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS | L.L. Bean, Kids Spring 2007; GOLD: Print Channel | GIFTS | L.L. Bean, Christmas Favorites 2007; GOLD: Web Channel | GIFTS | www.llbean.com; SILVER: Print Channel | HOME AND GARDENING PRODUCTS | L.L. Bean Home, Summer 2007; SILVER: Web Channel | SPORTING GOODS | www.llbean.com ]

L.L. Bean


LL. Bean is one of the best. Why? A quick glance above at all the awards the outdoor apparel, gifts and home goods merchant won this year is one indicator of what our Business-to-Consumer Multichannel Merchant of the Year does so well.

WHY IT WON B-TO-C MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT OF THE YEAR: “Excellent products and a great selection of colors,” said one judge about one of L.L. Bean’s print catalogs. From the copy to the layout to the product selection, “it’s hard to come up with something better than this catalog.”

L.L. Bean seamlessly transfers its catalog message to the Web channel. “Overall the site is extremely strong,” said one judge, starting from the home page that “does almost everything right.” And its search is “really incredible,” a panelist noted. “Search results are the best I have seen.”

And the rotating feature image, with option to pause on any one of the images, “is both visually interesting and user friendly,” a judge said. “The fact that such a strong catalog brand has evolved to the point where e-commerce is its largest sales channel is impressive. L.L. Bean continues to set the bar high.”

IDEA TO STEAL: Bean makes it look easy, but it all boils down to understanding your customers. “They know their market and what it wants,” a judge said. “This is perhaps, by far, their biggest strength.” — Jim Tierney

L.L. BEAN


PRINT CATALOG


Director: Don Oakes

Creative directors: Jim Hauptman, Marcia Minter

Print/production director: Jason Kendeigh

Merchandiser: Amy Steenstra

Copywriter: Leslie Gomes

Editorial manager: Jenna Klein Johnsson

Printer: Quebecor World

Color separator/prepress provider: Vertis

List broker/manager: Millard Group

WEBSITE


Creative director: Sara Holihan

Vice president, e-commerce: Chris Wilson

Enterprise architect: Brian Lemieux

Associate creative director: Mark Ferguson

Others: John Kirby, Matt Gilligan

Print Catalog
OF THE YEAR


[ Also won — GOLD: Print Channel | SMALL CATALOG | The Republic of Tea, Catalogue No. 98 ]

The Republic of Tea, Catalogue No. 98


Fancy a spot of tea? Look no further than The Republic of Tea, a stunning print catalog that sells its own comprehensive line of teas and tea accoutrements. Our judging panel was positively captivated by the catalog’s great design, paper and print production — among other attributes.

WHY IT WON CATALOG OF THE YEAR: Like a premium tea bag, “the book flows seamlessly,” said one judge. “The catalog is well constructed in layout and design, with good merchandising that stays on message, and well-written, compelling copy.”

And while the catalog is chock full of tea (including herbal formulas such as “Get a grip” for PMS/menopause and “Get lost” for weight control), it packs in plenty of other product to supplement its line. Some of the accessories include artisan tea cups, bamboo tea trays, tea leaf infusers and, of course, teapots.

IDEA TO STEAL: Match your paper to your mission. The catalog’s choice of recycled, uncoated paper stock “is consistent with its simplicity theme,” a judge said. Overall, another panelist said of The Republic of Tea: “It’s refreshing to see a socially progressive cataloger that stays true to its mission.” — MD

THE REPUBLIC OF TEA


Director: Catherine Blackwell

Designer: Image Studio

Marketing director: Travis Seaton, Lenser

Copywriter: Ron Rubin

Printer: Continental Web

Consultants: Lenser

Website
OF THE YEAR


[ Also won — GOLD: Web Channel | Consumer Specialty Products | www.ebags.com ]

eBags.com


Calling all bag ladies — and gents: Ebags can help you procure that perfect purse or snare a super satchel, suitcase or knapsack with its selection of more than 500 brands and 33,000 products.

WHY IT WON WEBSITE OF THE YEAR: Ebags is more than an e-commerce site; it’s a community of bag owners and customers who have provided their feedback and recommendations on the merchandise. This helps other shoppers decide what they are really looking for in a bag or accessory and buy with confidence.

“Customer reviews, encouragement of feedback, broad and deep selection of product, and terrific product pages are all big plusses,” said a judge. “I think the focus on customer reviews — and their prominence on the product page — is a good one, and for a product of this type it’s probably more beneficial than spending a ton of time on copywriting.”

IDEA TO STEAL: Stand behind your products with your service. If eBags didn’t take good care of its customers, its 1.3 million user reviews would probably put the merchant out of business. “The free returns policy says volumes about the confidence eBags has in its products,” a judge said. — Tim Parry

EBAGS.COM


Creative director: Peter Cobb

Marketing director: Joe Devine

Webmaster: Dan Werling

Website designer: Jason Carncross

Merchandiser: Nancy Behrendt

Photographer/illustrator: Casey Brown

Apparel


SILVER: Print Channel


L.L. Bean, Christmas 2007


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas from the cover of this L.L. Bean catalog: The scene shows a family dragging a freshly cut Christmas tree home across a snowy, evergreen-lined landscape. “True to brand, the cover of L.L. Bean’s Christmas catalog is warm, inviting, and seasonal” one judge said.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: The book’s design conveys a “can’t wait until the holidays” feeling, said one judge. It combines festive elements, such as red boxes, with Web information; red price tags; and photos with subtle seasonal backgrounds. But the concept “always prioritizes customer satisfaction and customer service above all.” Service is messaged throughout, “both in words and thoughtful design, particularly the bright red introductory page setting the tone.”

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: It came so close, but a few minor design peeves reduced its scores. For instance, one judge said the varying line length “makes it hard to read the copy — or want to read it.” — Patrick Barnard

Director: Don Oakes

Creative directors: Marcia Minter, Jim Hauptman

Print/production director: Jason Kendeigh

Merchandiser: Amy Steenstra

Copywriter: Leslie Gomes

Editorial manager: Jenna Klein Johnsson

Printer: Quebecor World

Color separator/prepress provider: Vertis

List broker/manager: Millard Group

SILVER: Print Channel


Patagonia, Spring 2007


The remarkable front cover photo depicting a climber taking inventory of his gear “immediately informs the reader that this catalog is something special,” one judge said. The cover image “sets the stage for a great photographic story of the natural world.”

WHY IT WON THE SILVER AWARD: This edition pays tribute to Yosemite National Park, a “story” that is interwoven with the product. “The high-quality apparel positions exceptionally well against the black-and-white photos and storyline, while contemporary images remind the reader of the apparel’s practicality and enduring design,” a judge noted.

At the same time, the catalog’s “exceptional design allows for a substantial amount of information, product and story without overwhelming.”

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: Although the cover starts off with a strong climbing theme, the first page of products sells plush hoodies, which “seems a bit of a letdown for the serious outdoors person,” said one panelist. — PB

Art director: Annette Scheid

Photo editor: Jane Sievert

Product photography: Jim Arneson

Product photography/art director: Billie Jan Houston

Managing copy editors: Amy Stanfield, Vincent Stanley

Production managers: Charlotte Overby, Angela Weidmann

Creative directors: Kevin Churchill, Michelle Grinsel, Rob BonDurant

Printer: Arandell Corp.

List manager: Ken Storey, Abacus

Business Specialty Products


GOLD: Print Channel


New Pig Corp.,
The Big Pigalog Buying Guide 2008


You might say that New Pig Corp. is hogging the Gold Award in its category. The porcine purveyor of industrial cleanup products has grabbed the Gold for more years than we’d care to count. What’s so great about the Pig?

WHY IT WON A GOLD AWARD: When your core product is a huge absorbent sock (or pig) for chemical leaks and spills, you’d better know how to make it interesting. And New Pig sure does. As one judge says, copy is “informative but not esoteric; fun but not childish.”

Spread headlines tie pages together, while callouts and captions help sell. Photos emphasize the product, usually in use, and insets help tell an additional benefit-driven story. “The combination of pictures and words make this fascinating — and I wouldn’t have ever thought that about industrial cleaning products,” a panelist said. And navigation is excellent: “It’s probably one of the best jobs of color-coded tabbing I’ve seen.”

IDEA TO STEAL: If New Pig can brand its catalog customer experience with this product line, so can you. “Who knew industrial supplies could be so interesting?” mused one judge. — MD

Directors: Doug Hershey, Nino Vella

Creative director: Stacie Fronk

Product managers: Jackie Billy, Chris Dilley, Scott Diminick, Doug Evans, Dan Ferrell, Steve Finochio, Matt Huff, Chris Iuzzolino, Mike Kinney, Mike Shoulis

Project managers: Lonna Pfeffer, Krista Rehm

Creative: Inhouse team

Photographer: McManus Studios

Printer: Quad/Graphics

SILVER: Print Channel


L.L. Bean, Direct to Business, Holiday 2007


L.L. Bean for business? You bet! The venerable outdoor apparel merchant has developed a distinctive title that takes its current product and personalizes it for companies seeking gifts or promotions for clients and employees.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: The front cover copy immediately communicates a purpose and a sense of “buy now,” a judge said. “L.L. Bean does a wonderful job of designing the catalog and introducing pacing throughout.”

Then there’s the copy. Said one judge: “Every copy block extols the virtues of the product without going overboard.”

L.L. Bean boasts high scores in customer service and ordering, too. “They have done everything possible to make the customer ordering experience as comfortable as possible,” a panelist said.

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: Judges had a few creative quibbles: The front cover photo faces off the page instead of into the catalog, back-cover copy is difficult to read, and the point size could have been bumped up a bit. — MD

Designer: Leslie Wagner

Creative directors: Jim Hauptman, Marcia Minter

Print/production director: Jason Kendeigh

Merchandiser: Jennifer Foley

Copywriter: Debra Carr-Brox

Editorial manager: Chris Seid

Printer: Quebecor World

Color separator/prepress provider: Vertis

List broker/manager: MeritDirect

Business Specialty Products


GOLD: Web Channel


www.epromos.com


Searching for promotional products can be daunting. You need merchandise that works with your company image, logo and budget, and there are a lot of products to choose from. Happily, ePromos makes it easy for you.

WHY IT WON A GOLD: EPromos.com has a tremendous range of products and excellent self-service checkout that customizes itself based upon the merchandise purchased. And having the trade show promotional items and the promotional business gifts as large elements on the home pages is useful, “because I suspect those are large categories for this business,” said one judge.

But one of the best things about ePromos is its solid use of filters. “You can reorganize your selection by price, color, brand, days shipped and so on,” a panelist said. “It’s a great feature that a lot of their competitors do not offer.”

IDEA TO STEAL: The shopping cart that customizes the checkout for the products in the cart. “There’s a lot to be learned from these folks on that front.” — TP

Creative director/ Web designer: Jason Robbins

Marketing director/Webmaster/merchandiser/copywriter: Mark Yokoyama

Photographer/illustrator: Daron Rosenberg

SILVER: Web Channel


www.waspbarcode.com


Wasp Barcode Technologies’ Website is abuzz with barcode software and systems from scanners and printers to labels and accessories. The manufacturer/marketer’s site is also a Silver Award winner.

WHY IT WON A SILVER: Waspbarcode.com won raves for using video in an effective manner. WASPTV, its online video player, is well executed, as is a lot of the free information that it provides. The site could even expand the videos and use them to help customers figure out how to solve their problems, a judge said.

“It’s clear that they know who their customer is and have carved out a niche from both a merchandising perspective as well as from a copy/sales perspective,” a panelist noted.

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD: Judges had some stinging comments about the site’s navigation and usability. “They need to work a lot harder on their navigation, as well as on simplifying the buying process,” a panelist said. “It takes too long to get to what you want.” — TP

Creative director: Brian Sutter

Marketing director: Grant Wickes

Webmaster/Website designer: Alana Duma

Copywriter: Bob Griswold

Consultant: Chris Robertson

Children’s Products


GOLD: Print Channel


Hanna Andersson, Winter 2007


It doesn’t get more inviting than this,” said one judge of the cover of the Hanna Andersson Winter 2007 catalog. The two cute kids pictured are “having a blast in their Hanna longjohns!”

WHY IT WON A GOLD AWARD: The cataloger’s signature line of colorful merchandise is showcased by the strong design. “The full-page and large-scale photos are powerful and reinforce the company’s commitment to, and assurance of, quality,” said a panelist. What’s more, a judge said, “images depicting multigenerational models easily lead to the cross-selling of apparel in all shapes and sizes.”

Hanna Andersson’s copy is another strong point. “Straightforward yet fresh,” is how one judge described it. “Copy reinforces the apparel’s clean and organic appeal.”

IDEA TO STEAL: Large photos may be important in selling apparel, but don’t skimp on space for copy. “The space allotted for the copy is ample so that it can be both fully descriptive and ‘selling’ at the same time,” a judge noted. — PB

Director: Chris Moser

Designers: Chris Moser, Yvette Valesquez

Creative director: Mary Wilson

Marketing director: Alison Polenz

Print/production directors: Jody Palzer, Lee Beckman

Merchandiser: Jackie Ardrey

Copywriter: Elizabeth Gottfried

Photographer/illustrator: Ted & Debbie, Iridio

Printer: R.R. Donnelley

GOLD: Print Channel


L.L. Bean, Kids Spring 2007


Talk about happy campers: The front cover of the Spring 2007 edition of L.L. Bean Kids shows three children happily unpacking a duffle inside their tent, conveying the excitement of a family camping trip beautifully.

“Colorful and engaging, this cover heralds spring,” one judge said. “The cool blue background is the perfect palette for the colorful fleeces, and a welcome relief after winter’s darkness. Fresh and crisp, the cover invites consumers to dive in.”

WHY IT WON THE GOLD AWARD: Great photography, well-written copy and simple design combine to make this catalog inviting, fun and easy to navigate.

“The straightforward copy — explicit and ‘non-salesy’ — works well with Bean’s no-nonsense image,” one judge said. “The headlines are effective, answering parents’ questions about apparel wear and function — before they even ask.”

There is a lot of play and action depicted throughout the catalog: “Kid models having great fun wearing Bean products,” a panelist said. “The use of ‘price tags’ throughout is clever. Good drivers to the Website incorporate well into the design.”

IDEA TO STEAL: L.L. Bean has one of the “gold standard” guarantees: Products can be returned at any time if the customer is not completely satisfied. This is stated on page two and on the order form, a judge said. “In addition, there is extensive size information as well as charts on the order form spread.” — PB

Senior vice presidents: Steve Fuller, Don Oakes

Designer: Vivian Page

Creative directors: Jim Hauptman, Marcia Minter

Print/production director: Jason Kendeigh

Merchandiser: Glenn Johnsson

Copywriter: Tom Tero

Photographer/illustrators: Elise Plakke, Elizabeth Fuller

Printer: Quebecor World

List manager/broker: Millard Group

Children’s Products


www.onestepahead.com


GOLD: Web Channel


One Step Ahead relaunched its Website in April 2007. Was it a success? You might say the new site is worth its weight in gold.

WHY IT WON A GOLD: The revamped Website is an online encyclopedia for novice and expert children’s product buyers that gives customers the knowledge needed to make safe and smart buying decisions.

The use of video to sell product was impressive and authentic at the same time. “One Step Ahead did a great job with the use of kids using products in videos that show how products work,” a judge said. “It’s obvious the videos weren’t professional, which only increases One Step Ahead’s credibility in the mind of the consumer.”

IDEA TO STEAL: One Step Ahead knows you can’t just replicate catalog product shots for your Website. “Wherever possible, alternate shots of products should be used on a Website,” a judge said. “A little enhancing of photos for a Website will do wonders for product sales.” — TP

Marketing director: Rachel Gutierrez

Webmaster: Bill Baldwin

Website designers: Anna Sandoval, Beth Wernet

Copywriter: Julie Cramer

Photographer/illustrator: Summit Studio

Others: Dan Tussing, Alton Kusch, Ezra Oh

SILVER: Web Channel


www.learningresources.com


Other Websites could learn a lot from Learning Resources. This Silver-Award winning site sells educational materials and learning toys.

WHY IT WON A SILVER: Learning Resources’ Website caters to both teachers and parents, with alternate pages for both customer segments. Not only is the site fun and easy to navigate, the click-through pages meet customer expectations.

The site boasts good cross-sells on product pages, copy is easy to read and understand — it gets straight to the point. And the product guide PDFs are valuable to its audience, a panelist noted.

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD: Learning Resources has some functionality and creative issues. For instance, the search function does not suggest alternatives for misspelled words. “Search returned products from the term ‘airplane’ but no returns for the word ‘airplanes,’” a panelist pointed out. And judges felt that while some product images are good, others are not. — TP

Creative director: Mike Peters

Marketing director: Michelle Bougie

Webmaster: Lana Gorelova

Website designer: Buster Creative

Merchandiser: Jennifer Jens

Copywriter: Allison Wolcott

Photographer/illustrator: Elevate/BlackBoxStudios

Consultants: MarketLive

Others: Lisa Guili, Eric Toriumi

Computer and High-Tech Equipment


SILVER: Web Channel


www.l-com.com


When you’re selling connectivity products, such as cable assemblies, fiber optics and network equipment, you have to educate your customers and guide them through the decision-making process. L-Com takes this a step further by offering resources to help customers tackle their projects.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: Right from its packed home page, L-Com “effectively showcases the merchandise, its applications, and the company’s selling proposition,” said one judge. And the overall selection “is authoritative and complete.” The site “provides deep expertise on connectivity — the editorial and tutorials are unique and helpful,” a panelist noted. This gives the Website “the appearance of having helpful, smart people standing behind it.”

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: One judge felt that L-Com’s home page “is cluttered and text heavy,” and suggested the site try using less text with fewer elements. Also, while many of the pages effectively use bulleted lists for easy Web scanning, “others crowd copy into tight, dense paragraphs and tiny scroll boxes.” — PB

Creative director: Jim Corcoran

Marketing director: Mary Ann Kleinfelter

Webmaster/Website designer: Jeff Smith

Merchandiser: Peter McNeil

Copywriter: Dave Fallon

Photographer/illustrator: Mark Antinoro

Consumer Specialty Products


GOLD: Print Channel


Wilderness Travel, Journeys for the Year 2008


Offering “extraordinary cultural, wildlife and hiking adventures since 1978,” Wilderness Travel is walking on the wild side on vacation tours. The company’s trips range from safaris in Africa and cruises in the Galapagos, to hikes in Europe, treks in Nepal and snorkeling and sea kayaking excursions worldwide.

WHY IT WON A GOLD AWARD: With its vivid, picturesque photography, Wilderness Travel is a “gorgeous book,” one judge said. “Beautiful and interesting cover photography makes a compelling case for looking inside,” one judge remarked. Another added: “Great photography in a travel catalog is a must — and they do it well.”

It’s hard to beat this catalog’s design and production, but the catalog is also functional. For instance, “copy is very thorough,” one panelist said.

IDEA TO STEAL: The goal is to give the customer assurances that the trip will be excellent, and Wilderness Travel does just that. As one judge said of the cataloger’s institutional pages: “Here’s how to promote your customer service team.” — JT

Marketing director: Barbara Banks

Designer/creative director: Krystie Bonzelet

Print/production director: Shannon Hastings

Copywriter: Pamela Shandrick

Printer: Overseas Printing Corp.

List management/broker: Inhouse

SILVER: Print Channel


Vitacost.com, Fall 2007


Vitacost.com is just what the doctor ordered. The catalog offers wholesale prices on thousands of vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter products, including its own specially researched Nutraceutical Sciences Institute (NSI) brand. “It’s a real functional catalog, a very dense book, good editorial content, well positioned,” said one judge. “It’s a workhorse.”

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: The “well done” magazine format on the cover uses several methods for getting readers to open up, said one judge. “Product descriptions are brief, but functional. Lots of product information conveyed, especially with product labels.”

One panelist praised the book’s use of charts and tables. “Good paper choice for product and page count,” the judge said.

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: Some judges felt the eyeflow was inhibited by the overwhelming number of bottle images. “The spreads appear crammed and crowded,” and there are too many fonts used, said one panelist. — JT

Designers: Cesar Paul, Beth Bartlett

Creative director: Anne Kane

Marketing/print/production director: Sharon Bobowski

Copywriters: Julie D’Amico, Rebecca Chopin, Steven Skiles

Business development: Elan Vaknin

Printer: Quebecor World

Photographer/illustrator: Cesar Paul, Otto Mertins

Consumer Specialty Products


SILVER: Web Channel


www.musiciansfriend.com


This Website is unusual in the retail world,” said one judge about the Musician’s Friend Website: “A superstore with soul.” And to go with its soul, the site has a Silver Award.

WHY IT WON A SILVER: “The selection is authoritative, and the site’s genuine passion for the gear comes through clear,” said one judge. Innovative promotions and merchandising features, such as Stupid Deal of The Day and Gibson Guitar of the Month, are appropriate to both the category and the target customer.

Checkout is smooth and easy, judges say, and the live help is exceptional. The panel also noted that the copy is well formatted for the Web: informative and benefit oriented.

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD: Search results and category pages could be better optimized to handle Musician’s Friend’s huge selection. “They should apply merchandising to their search results, which cry out for featured products and suggestions,” a judge said. — TP

Director of user interface development: Jason Cave

Director of combo marketing: So Young Park

Director of e-commerce systems: Portia Becker

Web production manager: Tom Boyles

Merchandisers: Dana Litton, Dave Pelletier, Chris Tso

Copy manager: Marty Paule

Digital content manager: Dave Blees

Brand managers: Julie Fletcher, Steven Gillen

Food


SILVER: Print Channel


Harry & David, Summer Celebration 2007


Summertime, and the livin’ is easy — especially when you have a Harry & David catalog of luscious food photography to peruse. “Excellent cover photography — and link to summer,” said one judge about the cover photo depicting juicy slices of fresh peaches. “Makes you drool.”

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: “The photography and colors are superb,” said another judge. “The cover leads into the opening spread, and the sales mentioned on both covers encourage the reader to open the catalog.” The marketing focus is “clear and maintained throughout,” with handy offers such as personal greeting cards.

The order form is clear and gives much information on the shipping and ordering process, said one member of the panel, who applauded the line “You can finish your shopping in the next ten minutes” on the order form.

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: A few minor points, such as the knockout type against the colored background, which is tough to read. — MD

Director: Estin B. Kiger

Designers: Kelly Barton, Tucker Whitson

Creative director: Michelle Jovanovic

Marketing directors: Melissa Watson, Mike Zodrow

Print/production director: Lisa Chang

Merchandiser: Denise Tedaldi

Copywriter: Marcus G. Smith

Photographers: Ron Anderson, Eric Groetzinger, Brian Prechtel

Color separator/prepress provider: Schawk

Printer: R.R. Donnelley

List manager/broker: ALC

SILVER: Web Channel


www.harryanddavid.com


Succulent peaches. Crisp apples. Mouth-watering pears. In the mood for some fresh fruit yet? The Harry & David Website sells the same gorgeous fruit baskets and other gourmet food items for which the cataloger is so well known. But the online channel gives the merchant’s customers new ways to explore and buy products.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: The site’s enhanced “gift finder” helps you filter through search results to nail down the most relevant gift selections; the “zoom” feature allows you to get close-up views of the products; the “product recommendations” give the site a personalized touch.

What’s more, Harry & David’s Website provides “multiple paths to get to each product,” a panelist remarked, and it also includes several promotional offers to encourage additional shopping.

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: It came so close, but some panelists thought the copy wasn’t as good as it could have been. Product descriptions “could have included more pertinent information,” said one judge. — PB

Creative director: Sheila Chambers

Marketing director: Ann Ashbey

Webmaster: Sue Eagan

Website designer: Ken Nash

Merchandiser: Denise Tedaldi

Copywriter: Mary Pat Roched

Photographer/illustrator: Ron Anderson, Eric Groetzinger

Gifts


GOLD: Print Channel


L.L. Bean, Christmas Favorites 2007


L.L. Bean’s Christmas Favorites catalog was a favorite with the judging panel. “Is this not a great spread? It’s wonderful!” exclaimed one judge. Said another: “It’s a winner. Not a whole lot we could recommend to improve it.”

WHY IT WON A GOLD AWARD: Judges raved about all aspects of this holiday book, especially the cover photo of a stack of inviting gifts and different colored fleece pullover jackets. In particular, they loved the fabric swatch that enables shoppers to feel the fleece pullover pictured. “The swatch really works,” one judge said. “It adds class.” Copy also earned accolades. “Best copy anywhere,” one judge said. Specifically, the judge pointed to page 28 and its photo of five button-down shirts with the caption: “Crisp and Smooth Right from the Dryer.”

IDEA TO STEAL: Judges piled praise on the way Bean displays its clothes in stacks to show different colors. Said one judge said: “The stacks are great, and the selection of products is terrific.” — JT

Director: Don Oakes

Designers: Andrea Kolpack, Erica Eysenbach

Creative directors: Marcia Minter, Jim Hauptman

Print/production director: Jason Kendeigh

Merchandiser: Amy Steenstra

Copywriter: Leslie Gomes

Editorial manager: Craig Fessler

Color separator/prepress provider: Vertis

Printer: Quebecor World

List management/broker: Millard Group

GOLD: Print Channel


Harry & David, Holiday Preview 2007


What a pear! That would be a Royal Riviera pear, festooned with red ribbon, nestled in holiday evergreens. It’s clear from this cover photo that the only thing better than giving a Harry & David product as a gift is receiving one.

WHY IT WON A GOLD AWARD: The cataloger’s “luscious photography” is a perennial crowd pleaser. But the copy is key, especially when selling gift items. “Copy is lively, descriptive, engaging and consistent in tone,” a judge said, “with good use of subheads leading into copy block.”

And the catalog’s marketing concept is “clearly communicated in all aspects of the book,” a member of the panel stated. “Beautiful layout. Good pace and flow.”

The book has an “extremely well-executed strategy,” one judge said, adding: “A well-defined brand is an effective defense in times of a slow economy.”

IDEA TO STEAL: It’s okay to be promotional, especially during the holiday season. “Good use of blow-ins promoting specials and get-a-friend catalog offer,” said a judge. — JT

Director: Estin B. Kiger

Designers: Kelly Barton, Tucker Whitson, David Holman

Creative director: Michelle Jovanovic

Marketing directors: Mike Zodrow, Melissa Watson

Print/production director: Neal Schuler

Merchandiser: Denise Tedaldi

Copywriter: Marcus G. Smith

Photographers: Ron Anderson, Eric Groetzinger, Brian Prechtel

Color separator/prepress provider: Schawk

Printer: R.R. Donnelley

List broker/manager: ALC

Gifts


SILVER: Print Channel


Williamsburg, Holiday 2007


The merchandise from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation may be inspired by the 18th century, but its catalog is fresh, modern, classy — and a Silver-Award winner to boot.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: “An absolutely fantastic selection of beautiful product across all price points,” one judge said of the merchandise that includes bedding, home furnishings, gifts and collectibles.

But it’s the design that really wowed the panel. The book contains “large hero full-page photographs intermixed with smaller shots” that create a “highly persuasive presentation that engages the reader.” Design is “an example of excellence in all respects from layout to photography,” a panelist summed up. “It does not get any better.”

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: Customer service needs work. For one, “the order form is in such small print that this information, which helps you to sell the customer on the company, is lost,” a judge noted. — JT

Director: Maxx Ross

Designer: Theresa Stevens/Stevens Design

Marketing director: Valerie Norton

Print/production director: Cathleen Moore

Merchandiser: Debbie Salisbury

Copywriter: Melissa James

Color separator/prepress provider: ICS

Printer: Quad/Graphics

List management/broker: Millard Group

GOLD: Web Channel


www.orvis.com


also won — GOLD: Web Channel | SPORTING GOODS

Orvis.com has been a perpetual winner in the Web channel, noted one judge, “and the site just keeps getting better.” The Gold-Award winning Website “makes great use of all the best merch tools from alt views, zoom, product reviews and care instructions,” a panelist said.

WHY IT WON A GOLD AWARD: Merchandising is subtle and well executed, while product pages are some of the best on the Web. Copy “strikes just the right balance between being promotional and being low key,” a panelist said.

Search functionality also strikes the perfect balance with ability to refine on price, category, etc., a judge said. “Far more clear than many implementations of this technology that I’ve seen.”

IDEA TO STEAL: The site’s strong copy “fits the voice of the company,” said one judge. The description for a dog toy: “Keep your dog enthused for hours with our popular rooster toy. A riot of color and sound, our rooster is soft, cuddly and safe with embroidered eyes that stay put and can’t be swallowed.” — JT

* No information provided

Home and Gardening Products


GOLD: Print Channel


Jackson & Perkins, Wholesale Roses for 2008


April in Paris is beautiful; so is the other April in Paris — the pink hybrid tea rose on the cover of Jackson & Perkins’ Wholesale Roses catalog. “Clear messaging and stopping-power creative,” observed one impressed judge.

WHY IT WON A GOLD AWARD: Sure, the photography is fabulous and the print quality is high. But it’s the copy that drew the top marks. “Great copy — it’s written as if each item is a piece of exquisite jewelry,” gushed a panelist. The intro for the aforementioned April in Paris: “The essence of pure romance, these whisper-pink porcelain blooms are among the most powerfully perfumed roses we’ve every grown.” Copy works hard, “explaining different types of roses, with clear descriptions of each type of flower,” said a judge.

IDEA TO STEAL: Here’s an easy one: Make the point size of the font legible. “It’s the first text where I didn’t have to put on my glasses!” exclaimed one grateful judge, “and it’s readable over images.” — MD

Director: Mara Oane

Designer: Steve Burns

Creative director: Estin B. Kiger

Marketing director: Charlie Anderson

Print/production director: Lisa Chang

Merchandiser: Greta Mikkelsen

Copywriter: Jill Thacker

Photographers: Ron Anderson, Rob Rebman

Printer: CDS Publications

Color separator/prepress provider: Shawk

List management/broker: ALC

SILVER: Print Channel


L.L. Bean Home, Summer 2007


Can you capture the feeling of summertime in Maine in a catalog? L.L. Bean Home manages to with the cover photo showing a croquet set in use against a lush green lawn. “Imagery and copy are aligned to reveal the outdoor summer vacation feeling of the East Coast,” said one judge.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: The copy is “wonderful,” said one judge, “and clearly outlines features and benefits of each product in a clear and concise style.” L.L. Bean writes in a style “that is clear, easy to read and understand, but not boring or monotonous.”

And the catalog’s eyeflow is great: “As I flipped through, each page had something in the right spot to catch my eye!” a panelist proclaimed.

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: Some members of the judging panel felt the production values weren’t up to Bean’s standards. “The pages are thin and sometimes stick together,” said one judge. Another was more blunt: “The paper looks dirty, and takes away from the vibrant photography.” — MD

Director: Don Oakes

Creative directors: Jim Hauptman, Marcia Minter

Print/production director: Jason Kendeigh

Merchandiser: Robin Sayre

Copywriter: Ruth Otterstein-Mueller

Art directors: Elizabeth Fuller, Sandra Wang

Editorial manager: Craig Fessler

Printer: Quebecor World

Color separator/prepress provider: Vertis

List broker/manager: Millard Group

International


GOLD: Print Channel


New Pig Corp., U.K.


You might think that Pennsylvania-raised New Pig would be a fish out of water when the cataloger hits U.K. shores. Hardly. The chemical cleanup supplies marketer has a knack for turning its catalog efforts into pure gold, whether it’s here or over there.

WHY IT WON A GOLD AWARD: “Excellent all round,” is how one judge described New Pig’s U.K. catalog, while another commented, “My favorite in the b-to-b category.” In particular, the book drew high marks for merchandising, copy, customer service and overall print quality.

The covers work hard to sell, communicate brand, and convey ordering information. “A textbook example of benefit-related b-to-b cataloging,” said one panelist.

IDEA TO STEAL: It’s okay to have a little fun when selling industrial supplies. For instance, New Pig’s cartoon mascot assures customers that, “Our pallets and decks stand a hoof and snout above the competition!” — MD

Executive director: Mark Bryan

Marketing directors: Allyson Bryan, Allen de Koning

Creative directors: Stacie Fronk, Beth Love

Product manager: Darren Hamilton

Project manager: Edward Engle

Creative: Gina Baker, Geoff Corzine, Jennifer Harker, Brenda Kerr, Kevin Ludgate, Jeff Schiefer, Laura Shoup, Julie White

Photographer: McManus Studios

Printer: Wyndeham

List manager/broker: Edith Roman

SILVER: Print Channel


New Pig Corp., Germany


Sprechen zie Deutsch? Neither do we — that’s why we have international judges. But New Pig Corp. evidently does, as the industrial cleanup products merchant has snared a Silver Award for its German catalog edition.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: The merchandise is consistent with the marketing goal. “Product use is the hero,” said one judge. Merchandising is “fantastic,” said another panelist, noting that New Pig leaves no room for any competitor.

And just like New Pig’s U.S. and U.K. versions, this catalog is very well organized. Pages are designed to help the customer move naturally from the picture though the copy.

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: The language barrier may have tripped up the near-perfect New Pig. “The sales copy is not as good as its American counterpart,” said one judge. “And the photography is simply out of touch with the German target.” — MD

Executive director: Mark Bryan

Marketing directors: Allyson Bryan, Allen de Koning

Creative directors: Stacie Fronk, Beth Love

Product manager: Darren Hamilton

Project manager: Edward Engle

Creative: Gina Baker, Jennifer Harker, Dustin Hess, Kevin Ludgate, Jeff Schiefer, Laura Shoup, Julie White, Stephanie Yingling

Photographer: McManus Studios

Printer: Druck Zentrum Essen

List manager/broker: Schober Direct

International


SILVER: Web Channel


www.orvis.co.uk


The Web enables U.S. merchants to sell overseas with ease, but Orvis kicks it up a notch with its Silver-Award-winning U.K. site. The British site scores in transporting the emotional warmth of the catalog to the Web, while enhancing it with features, reviews and additional content.

WHY IT WON A SILVER: The site’s search functionality is excellent, and copy is well written for the market. For instance, the copy for a waistcoat (vest) begins: “A great layering piece for transitional weather, our microfibre waistcoat has allover diamond quilting, a zip front, stand collar, two welt pockets, rounded vents at the hemline, and side tabs to adjust for fit…”

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD: The placement of potential cross-sell products is not ideal. “Orvis might want to take a look at ‘the fold,’ as the cross-sells might be below the bottom of the screen,” the judge said. “There are plenty of cross-sells, but not as much of a focus on upsells. Maybe there is an opportunity there?” — TP

* No information provided

SILVER: Web Channel


www.waspbarcode.co.uk


Shopping for barcode software and accessories can be awfully cumbersome — just ask “any warehouse manager in the mail order industry,” said one judge. But with its U.K. Website, “Wasp Barcode even makes it fun.”

WHY IT WON A SILVER: Judges felt that the Wasp Barcode U.K. Website was particularly well crafted for business-to-business selling. Why? It’s clear, concise and effective, and it gives the user the feeling of being in control.

And like its U.S. counterpart, it uses streaming video in order to help people choose the right products.

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD: The art direction needs work. “There is too much empty space at the top, in between, and at the bottom, which makes the page somewhat unusable,” a judge said. And the navigation is weak when it comes to producing clickthroughs off the home page. “There just isn’t enough stuff to click on,” said another panelist. — TP

Creative director: Brian Sutter

Marketing director: Grant Wickes

Webmaster/Website designer: Alana Duma

Copywriter: Bob Griswold

Consultant: Hugh Furness

New Catalog


SILVER: Print Channel


Edmund Optics, 2007 Master Source Book


With its “extremely deep” coverage of optics, Edmund Optics is focused on its audience. The company’s 2007 Master Source Book is a reference book “that no qualified customer would throw away,” according to one judge.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: The woman on the front cover seems odd at first, but “it does add warmth to an otherwise cold and sterile-looking product line,” a judge said. “And you’re drawn to her eye, which relates to optics.”

The strength of the catalog is the breadth of product and “a great opening spread, which talks about the company and what they stand for,” said one judge. “The layout is very organized.”

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: The return and warranty policy seems convoluted, noted one judge, but it may just reflect the nature of the industry. One thing that did not work is the grayed-out text in the table of contents, said the same panelist. “I’m sure they’ve realized that by now.” — MD

Director: Gretchen Morris

Designer: Dawn Kozarski

Marketing director: Maris Edmund

Photographer/illustrator: Gary Mattie Studios

Adviser: Robert Edmund

Printer: R.R. Donnelley

List manager: Jeff Harvey

List broker: Edith Roman

Office Supplies, Furniture, and Stationery


SILVER: Print Channel


Raymond Geddes & Co., August 2007-July 2008


After 80 years in business selling unique novelty pens, pencils, stationery supplies and novelties, Raymond Geddes is well schooled in its craft. Its Silver- Award-winning catalog packs a plethora of items on every page.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: “The straightforward bulleted copy is reader friendly,” said one judge. “Effective use of captions and callouts to highlight product features, benefits, pricing, etc.”

Marketing earned high marks as well. “Very tight concept and execution,” a panelist said. “Clearly, Raymond Geddes understands its target customer.”

The cataloger also uses multiple promotional programs to encourage orders, higher average orders, and loyality. A judge added: “It screams out to the customer to pay attention to it.”

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: Many layouts are too cluttered, said one judge. “Seems like they stood back and threw stuff at the page.” — JT

Director/merchandiser: Laura Bruck

Designer/photographer/illustrator: Becky Ashway

Copywriter: Shauna Kelley

Printer: R.R. Donnelley

List manager: MCH

SILVER: Print Channel


Office Depot, The Green Book, November 2007-August 2008


It’s trendy to be “green” these days, but with its Silver-Award-winning Green Book, Office Depot is clearly committed to the cause. The catalog “forcefully presents green office supplies as a category,” said one judge.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: Rave reviews poured in from judges regarding the front cover, which depicts a woman at her desk writing on a legal pad in front of her keyboard and computer, while small squares show pictures of various products offered. Said one judge: “The front cover is terrific in representing the brand.”

Merchandising also earned accolades. “Merchandise assortment is spot-on with strategy,” a judge said. “The presentation is effective,” and the 180-page catalog was printed on 100% post-consumer recycled content paper.

The copy provides “proper balance between editorial and product copy blocks,” another panelist said. The book “devotes significant copy to promoting green,” a judge noted, “and the message comes through loud and clear in a comprehensive way.”

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: “The back cover ineffectively communicates the brand’s commitment to the environment with a boring presentation,” one judge said. And some panelists felt the book needed a detailed index. — JT

Director: Steve Gniadecki

Designer: Sandra Strasser

Creative director: Suzy Campbell

Marketing directors: Lynn Hopkins, Mitch Salley

Print/production director: Peggy Regan

Copywriter: Barbara Bernard

Photographer/illustrator: KSC Studios

Environmental adviser: Yalmaz Siddiqui

Printer: R.R. Donnelley

Office Supplies, Furniture, and Stationery


SILVER: Web Channel


www.actionenvelope.com


When it comes to Web marketing, Action Envelope has it covered. The site sells plain and printed envelopes, in all sizes, styles and colors, to businesses, organizations and individuals — and it does it well.

WHY IT WON A SILVER: Action Envelope starts with “a good, utilitarian home page,” according to one judge, and then follows through with clean design and effective navigation options.

“Its discrete zones organize products by application, as well as traditional merchandising categories like ‘Popular’ and ‘New,’ ” the panelist said. Another judge felt its customer service information was friendly and gave the buyer confidence.

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD: At times, “search seemed more eager than smart,” said one judge. “A search for business cards returns results for 8.5 × 11 cardstock.” And some misspellings such as “invitaition” and “envoleple” returned “a pretty bare null results page,” a judge said. — TP

Website designer: Alexander Interactive

Small Catalog


SILVER: Print Channel


Action Bag Co., Spring 2007


The Silver Award was in the bag for retail packaging and promotions cataloger Action Bag Co. Though its category is Small Catalog, Action Bag has a huge command of mail order marketing.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: The catalog “seems clear in purpose and persona,” said one judge. “It gives the impression of intimacy with its customers in terms of knowing their business needs very well.”

Panelists also praised the table of contents in front of book. “Good presentation of ‘iron-clad’ guarantee,” a judge noted. Another panelist praised the “great use of copy headers, fonts, sizes and colors to hold readers’ attention throughout the entire catalog.”

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: “Pagination feels as if it’s ranked in importance from front to back,” observed one judge, as products in the last pages and inside back spread feel weaker than many of the other merchandise categories. — JT

Merchandiser, marketing/print/production director: Jaimey Alumbaugh

Designer: Heidi Fornalsky

Creative director: Carol Worthington-Levy

Copywriters: Carol Worthington-Levy, Jaimey Alumbaugh

Color separator/prepress provider: Quebecor World Premedia

Printer: Quebecor World

List management/broker: Lenser, Catalog Vision

Small Web Merchant


GOLD: Web Channel


www.petcarerx.com


PetCareRx.com prides itself on offering affordable pet pharmaceuticals. But there’s nothing discounted about this site’s look and performance.

WHY IT WON A GOLD: “A clean user interface makes a big difference,” said one judge. PetCareRx.com‘s enhanced functionality helps customers find and buy pet medicines and products faster and easier with far fewer clicks.

And for new customers who have never bought pet prescriptions online, PetCareRx.com provides simple-to-understand directions on how to use the site.

Judges also loved the automatic refills reminder, and the way the site handled its upsell and upgrade offerings with pop-ups.

IDEA TO STEAL: E-commerce doesn’t have to be only about selling product. For example, PetCareRx’s employees on the live chat will call a customer’s vet to confirm correct dosages. “Going the extra mile for the customer, like calling a vet to get prescription information, can be a huge competitive advantage,” a judge said. — TP

Website designer: Alexander Interactive

SILVER: Web Channel


www.plumbersurplus.com


Need a plumber? PlumberSurplus.com may not be able to be of service there, but if you need tools and accessories for any type of plumbing job, the site has tens of thousands of products to help you.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: The tagline “Point. Click. Plumb.” says it all. PlumberSurplus.com offers products that a homeowner might not be able to find easily in the local hardware store or a big-box retailer. The discounted products are organized by categories like kitchen, bath and water heaters. The concept “helps to clear excess inventory for companies that might otherwise be wasted,” said one judge.

The Website also provides excellent editorial and how-to resources for customers, including blogs, buying guides, how-to guides, videos and a definitions page.

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD: Overall, service was not this site’s strong suit. For instance, the customer has to create an account without going directly to cart, and some judges felt this could cause PlumberSurplus to lose orders. — TP

* No information provided

Sporting Goods


SILVER: Print Channel


Patagonia, Surf 2007


Patagonia is riding a wave of success with its Surf catalog. The two-year-old spin-off has snagged a Silver Award for the second year in a row by marrying lifestyle with brand in a compelling way.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: The Surf catalog is interspersed with dramatic photos of professional surfers riding the gnarly pounders in famous surfing locations. It also includes surfer bios paired with “casual” shots of the surfers wearing the apparel. “Using hardcore surfers is a great way to sell clothing to the rest of us,” one judge said. “Makes you want to be cool like these people.”

The feature editorials, a panelist said, have a strong, save-the-earth/counterculture point of view “that will probably resonate with the Patagonia shopper.”

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: While some judges felt the cover depicting a flying fish and a fork was attention-getting, others thought it was just plain strange. And some found the catalog to be a bit “under-merchandised.” — PB

Art director: Annette Scheid

Photo editor: Tim Davis

Product photography: Jim Arneson

Product photography art director: Billie Jan Houston

Managing copy editor: Alyssa Firmin

Production manager: Lisa Sander

Creative directors: Rob Bondurant, Chris Malloy

Merchandisers: Kevin Churchill, Michelle Grinsel

E-media director: Morlee Griswold

Printer: Arandell Corp.

Separator: Shawk

List manager: Ken Storey

Printer: Arandell Corp.

FINALISTS


PRINT CHANNEL FINALISTS


  • Apparel

    Cutter & Buck, Holiday 2007; L.L. Bean, Guide to Christmas Gifts, Winter 2007; Patagonia, Fall 2007; San Mar Corp., District Threads 2007; Sundance Catalog, Winter 2007

  • Business Specialty Products

    Chief Catalog, 2007 Buyer’s Guide; Edmund Optics, 2007 Master Source Book; Newark, Catalog 125, 2008; Tessco, The Wireless Guide; WESCO Buyers Guide, 2007/2008

  • Children’s Products

    Army & Air Force Exchange, The Baby Book 2007; FAO Schwartz, Fall 2007; Learning Resources, Holiday 2007; One Step Ahead, Summer Preview 2007; Sensational Beginnings, Holiday 2007

  • Computer and High-Tech Equipment

    Crutchfield, Fall 2007/Winter 2008 ; L-Com Connectivity Products 2007 Master Catalog 2.0

  • Consumer Specialty Products

    Country Walkers, 2008; King Arthur Flour, The Baker’s Catalogue, Holiday Preview 2007; Mayfire, BMW Guide; Musician’s Friend, November 2007; The Orvis Co., The Dog Book, Summer 2007

  • Food

    Fairytale Brownies, Winter 2007; Harry & David, Harry & David Spring 2007; Mrs. Beasley’s, Holiday 2007

  • Gifts

    Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Holiday 2007; Harry & David, January-February 2007; L.L. Bean, Christmas Gift Guide 2007; The Orvis Co., Sporting Gifts, Holiday 2007

  • Hardware, Tools, and Automotive

    Buggies Unlimited, Fall 2007

  • Home and Gardening

    Army & Air Force Exchange Services, Home Decor Summer 2007; Army & Air Force Exchange Services, Outdoor Living 2007; The Orvis Co., Summer Home, Summer 2007

  • International

    Crutchfield, Holiday 2007 (Canada); The Orvis Co., The Dog Book, Autumn 2007 (U.K.)

  • New Catalog/Website

    Beretta, Vol. XXV 2007; Harry & David, America’s Favorite Business Gifts

  • Office Supplies, Furniture and Stationery

    Office Depot, The Big Book 2008

  • Small Catalog

    Fairytale Brownies, Winter 2007; Melissa Data Corp., Catalog 2008

  • Sporting Goods

    The Fly Shop, 2007 Catalog & Travel Digest; L.L. Bean, Hunting Fall 2007; The Orvis Co., Fly Fishing 2007

WEB CHANNEL FINALISTS