Informational Services, Silver Award: Health Edco, 2000

When selling items of a sensitive nature, such as a simulated smoker’s lung and condom training models, you need to present them carefully. The Health Edco catalog handily meets the challenge. With its informative copy and detailed product photographs, the catalog skillfully sells products designed to educate consumers on health-related topics ranging from anatomy to sexuality to physical abuse.

A resource for health educators, the Health Edco catalog tries to make it easy for customers to find the products they need. For instance, color-coded indexing tabs indicate the various product categories. But judges were alarmed at the company’s decision to wait until six pages into the book to display the table of contents. After the opening spread, which includes the president’s letter, customers have to wade through four pages of new products before they come to the contents page.

The cover photograph, a preadolescent boy studying with an ocular model on his work area, drew mixed reviews from the judging panel. One judge thought the cover looked outdated. Another said that the subtitle “a division of WRS Group, Ltd.,” which appears right below Health Edco in sizable type, would likely mean “zilch” to the recipient. But others found the cover “compelling.” “It clearly communicates the contents of the catalog,” said one judge. Several panelists thought the tagline, “Bringing Health Education to Life,” further enhances the effectiveness of the cover.

The judges did agree that the copy is highly effective. One panelist described it as “descriptive, providing pertinent information including uses and dimensions.” Another judge applauded the sincere and straightforward nature of the copy, which the panel agreed was the best way to sell to the core audience. For example, the copy for a mechanical smoker designed to show students the implications of smoking tobacco reads: “This small hand-held model actually smokes a cigarette and collects its tars and nicotine on a photo of a real chest X-ray of a lung cancer victim. Stained prints fit into plastic bags, keeping stains intact when they are passed around for closer inspection.…”

But what really wowed the panel was the catalog’s broad assortment of items for young children and college students alike — and for students of every age and learning level in between. This catalog features some basics, such as the well-known pregnancy book What to Expect When You’re Expecting, as well as food-pyramid puppets and breast-vest models to demonstrate breast self-examination. Health education is serious business, and Health Edco clearly knows how to deliver the right merchandise — and messages — to its target audience.

Health Edco
WRS Group, Ltd.
5045 Franklin
Waco, TX 76710
Director: Gary Hutchison
Designer: Kenneth Turbeville
Production manager: Jules Robinson
Marketing manager: Janna Ripley
Printer: R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co.
Color separator: TLC Digital Imaging
Cover paper: 80 lb.
Text paper: 50 lb.
Number of pages: 148
Trim size: 7-7/8″ × 10-7/8″

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