Hanna Andersson, Holiday 1998

Sweden is known for more than its meatballs. The Scandinavian country is also a source of colorful, quality children’s clothing – like the kid’s garments found in the Hanna Andersson catalog. Its merchandising is just one of the reasons that the company’s Holiday 1998 edition, which one judge describes as a “wonderful mix of unique, high-quality, and hard-to-find outfits,” takes the Silver Award this year.

Hanna Andersson’s products range from velvet holiday dresses and leather clogs to fleece warm-up suits and cotton long johns, with several items available in sizes to fit Mom and Dad. “The concept of matching outfits for the entire family is unique and well positioned,” says one judge. For certain, this is more than just a kid’s catalog – six pages are devoted to women’s clothing designed to appeal to busy mothers.

The catalog’s layouts are well planned and demonstrate good eye flow, notes a judge, “with fun photography that represents a personal experience.” But the judges are not thrilled with the catalog’s dramatic black-and-white cover photograph. While the close-up of a mother holding her child grabs attention, “it does not reflect the beautiful and colorful product line found inside,” points out one judge. What’s more, adds another judge, “the black-and-white photo lowers the perceived value of the catalog.”

Information on the opening spread promotes holiday services such as ordering deadlines, gift certificates, and gift wrapping options. Well-written copy throughout adds flair to the necessary selling elements. “You can almost feel the velvet while reading this copy,” a judge enthuses. But another judge points out that the copy is not always consistent. For instance, care instructions are not included for all the garments.

Although Hanna Andersson does not offer 24-hour telephone ordering, the company does provide one toll-free number for both ordering and customer service, which at least one of the judges appreciates. The cataloger also provides a teletypewriter (TTY) service, as well as fax and Website ordering.

The judges agree that it’s the unique merchandise and the family-oriented lifestyle photography that makes this book a winner. “The happy photos of children add to the charm and strength of this catalog,” says one panelist.

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