Food: Vital Choice Seafood & Organics and Jack Stack Barbecue

GOLD: Catalog Channel

Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics, Holiday 2010

Acatalog and online purveyor of wild seafood and organics, Vital Choice promises foods that are “Wild Pure Delicious Delivered to your door.” The cover photo of a succulent plate of wild king salmon is “a great close up of a lead product,” said one judge.

WHY IT WON A GOLD AWARD: As you might expect with a cataloger selling primarily seafood meals, the creative is stellar. “The photography is spectacular and the design is clean and engaging,” said one judge. “Product shots are fantastic in terms of showing detail,” exclaimed another.

“Photography is excellent, including terrific shots of the items as they would be served,” said another panelist. “It appropriately conveys a high-quality, upscale image, while making the product look yummy.”

The copy brilliantly describes the benefits of how the fish or food is caught or prepared for maximum nutritional value, said another judge. “I see a nice organic progress from fish to other healthy and delicious items.”

IDEA TO STEAL: You can brand a salmon. “Catalog positioning as a vendor of eco-friendly and healthful food is very well executed, with editorial in many places throughout, including the president’s letter,” said one judge. — MD

SILVER: Catalog Channel

Jack Stack Barbecue, Holiday 2010

Nothing is quite as tasty as authentic Kansas barbecue. Is it possible to convey that smoky sweetness in a catalog? You bet — if you’re Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: Right from the mouth-watering cover image of succulent meats on a clean white background, the Jack Stack Holiday 2010 edition sets the stage for its brand. The logo is strong and the messages are clear and compelling, while the back cover is institutional, showing the assortment’s range and referring the customer inside to close the sale. “Well-designed and powerful — both covers hit a home run,” said one judge.

Creative is critical when selling food by mail, and Jack Stack has this nailed. The overall design is clean and powerful, while newly upgraded photos deliver great texture and detail, according to one panelist.

The copy is even better. As one panelist pointed out, one barbecued meat can look much like the next, so the copy here is king. “Who could resist a meal ‘As smoky sweet as a Charlie Parker Solo’?” the panelist asked.

Sidebars, body copy headlines and drop-ins for add-ons and social media help move the reader through the book. Excellent editorial content not only calls out benefits and how to order, it instills confidence in ordering, a judge noted.

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: One area for improvement is color, said one judge. “Use of props, surfaces and backgrounds could offer more variety to help pop the warm reds and browns that dominate the visuals.” — MD

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