South Cape, Edition 5, 1999 (Australia)

This Silver Award-winning apparel catalog from Australia is truly committed to its customers. When you open the first spread in the catalog, you find a box with the tag line “a store that makes shopping easy.” South Cape wants to make it clear from the very beginning that convenience, service, and value are its top priorities. The copy underneath the box provides the customer with every imaginable way to contact South Cape for customer service.

But while the inside cover is superb, judges were let down by the uninspiring front cover. Although pretty – the full-bleed photo depicts an attractive couple on a boat – the cover does not convey an accurate sense of what the catalog has to offer. At least one panelist felt that the cover does nothing to inspire recipients to open the book – a major shortcoming for any direct mail piece.

And South Cape has plenty to offer. For instance, judges liked the portrayal of summer in Australia as a merchandising theme. The copy explains that summer “down under” is all about color, and South Cape delivers with a vast assortment of hues for most items. Also, the catalog strengthens brand awareness by offering golf shirts with the South Cape logo. Not only is the catalog selling a staple item – in an array of colors, of course – but the shirt itself acts as a marketing vehicle.

Creative also drew high marks from the judging panel. “South Cape uses model shots with convincing and appropriate environments,” said one judge. The cataloger also knows how to appeal to its target audience – primarily thirty-something Australian consumers – with straightforward copy. For instance, text points out that if customers are fed up with import taxes incurred when ordering from overseas catalogs, they should try South Cape. The cataloger also provides a clear explanation of its policies and ordering procedures.

It is truly refreshing to discover that there is no fine print in this catalog. Everything is easily discernable, and the catalog does a good job of billing itself as a great time saver for busy customers. Every page features the South Cape name and a phone number with the line “call for personal service,” which reinforces the cataloger’s commitment to treating customers right. And the panelists appreciated special services such as hemming. In short, South Cape makes every effort to stand out and distinguish itself as a true winner.

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