A tri­umph of art­less­ness – the St Luke’s Hos­pice loose insert

Nobody could claim that the loose insert shown here is a thing of beauty.

Written by
Andrew Papworth
May 15, 2012

It won’t win any creative awards and in some ways it shows a bit of naivety. But I believe that in many ways its very lack of artifice adds to its effectiveness. There is always a danger that highly ‘creative’, over-produced print materials can send out the wrong messages – conjuring up subliminal impressions of wealthy corporations paying top market rates.

This insert – a simple sheet of A4 with two folds to half A5 – is for a local South Essex hospice with a record of innovative loose inserts. This insert is going for regular giving and its front page (below) makes the point succinctly that continuing care needs continuing support.

The photograph is quite clever too; resisting the temptation to show the clichéd nurse-patient interaction, it shows two members of staff simply oozing care on a patient who is off-stage left. The inside copy (below) makes the point that a lot could be achieved by a relatively modest monthly gift and includes a tear-off direct debit form, which might have been improved by the addition of suggested amounts such as £4/£8/£12/other per month.

This insert deserves to succeed, not least because it seems to judge its essentially local audience shrewdly. There must be many fairly comfortably-off middle-aged and elderly people in their catchment area who are worried, for themselves or for loved ones, about their prospects if they were to become terminally ill. For them a few quid a month might seem like a sensible investment or an insurance policy.

The only jarring note was the use of the unnecessarily euphemistic phrase ‘suffering from any life limiting illness’ in the opening paragraph of the inside copy which smacks of political correctness. There must surely be a less clunky way of avoiding the ‘t’ word.

About the author: Andrew Papworth

Andrew Papworth

After a long career in advertising agencies, Andrew Papworth has been freelancing as an advertising and communications planner for about two decades.

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