Harry and David, Christmas 1997

>From the outset, with its front cover presentation of a Royal Riviera pear decorated as a violin, the Harry and David Christmas 1997 catalog plays its customers’ appetite like a musical instrument. The overall message of quality and luxury comes through with appetite-teasing copy and photographs that look good enough to eat.

The copy consistently highlights benefits throughout. For example, the Royal Riviera pears are “so big and juicy you eat them with a spoon,” and a tower of gift boxes provides “high drama: fun to open and enjoy.” The copy is also peppered with brand-bolstering messages, such as “Here’s why our gift baskets are the best you can send.” In the words of one judge, the “professional copy does a good job of establishing Harry and David’s quality story.”

>From nuts to chocolates to holly wreaths, the merchandise selection is “masterful,” lauds a panelist. The offerings “provide the customer with various price point options for gift giving,” another judge says. And the book’s inclusion of Light Size Clubs, a variation on fruit-of-the-month offerings, shows that the company values and listens to customer feedback. “This club is our answer to customers who…have asked us to make [fruit selections] available in more manageable amounts” reads the copy.

The mouth-watering photography and the easy-on-the-eyes layouts keep the catalog moving at a pleasingly snappy pace, the panelists agree. And the image of quality and prestige is projected so convincingly that the book is able to offer up imperfect merchandise-which it dubs “pears with character”-without even nicking its image.

With an order form that opens “It’s so easy to order,” Harry and David makes good on its mission to “enhance the direct shopping experience by providing unique high-quality merchandise and superlative personal service.” The judges approve of the book’s efforts to promote the direct marketing industry by dispelling the myth that catalog ordering is complicated and unreliable and emphasizing its ease of use and convenience. Responding to amenities such as 24-hour ordering, multiple shipping options, and a guarantee of perfect delivery, the judges cite the customer service as an example of the company’s “professionalism.”

The Harry and David Christmas 1997 book has its brand identity firmly in grasp, judges note. After being around for 63 years, the catalog “doesn’t try to be someone else,” says one judge, and it certainly doesn’t need to be. The professionalism that shines through from cover to cover, accompanied by a mood of generous luxury, creates a Gold Award-winning formula.

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