S&S Primelife, 1999

Right on the money!” exclaims a judge about the cover of the S&S Primelife catalog of recreational products for the senior healthcare market. “If you want to attract the customer whose job it is to care for and recreate the aging community, show seniors busy and smiling.”

Another judge concurs: “Both the front and back covers show believable people using products, which leads you inside the book.”

Everything else about the Primelife catalog supports the mission as well. As one panelist says, “This catalog is consistent in its focus on seniors having fun. Every element fits that marketing focus.”

Take the merchandising. “Selections are perfect for this audience,” a judge notes, pointing out the Lawrence Welk music and bingo products. And amazingly, many of the products are taken from the S&S master catalog, which sells products for children ages 4-12. “It’s interesting to see how many of these children’s products can be remerchandised to target the 65-year-old-and-up market. A stroke of genius!” one judge raves.

Product presentations are well done, and although in places the catalog is not very esthetic or appealing, “it does the job,” a panelist says. Another judge highlights the deft use of space and color throughout the book. “S&S manages to cram lots of product on a page without it looking too cluttered. And the use of color is very functional – not at all distracting.” But one judge laments that some of the product shots are just too small.

Copy, the judges note, is benefit-oriented and does a great job of targeting the audience in short paragraphs. “Once again, S&S `rewrites the book’ to talk to its market,” a judge says. “I like the use of benefit copy to assist the customer in making the right choice.” In some instances, however, the panelists note that S&S uses copy that was originally written for the children’s products audience, and as a result, the wording seems inappropriate.

Service policies and the order form – while somewhat difficult to find, according to several of the judges – are thorough and complete. “Ease of ordering is stressed throughout,” a judge says.

S&S’s ability to home in on its market resulted in a successful effort right out of the gate – and a tie for the Silver Award. And with a few tweaks here and there, S&S could turn this new business catalog into an old hand at winning Gold Awards in the future.

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