Now in its third year, the Winston Fletcher Fiction Prize was created by a group of individuals from the advertising community in memory of one of advertising’s greats, the late Winston Fletcher (1937 – 2012). He was a prolific writer of books as well as co-founder of one of the agencies that eventually morphed into Mullen Lowe. The prize was designed to encourage and recognize great writing by people in the advertising industry. Scott Fitzgerald, Salman Rushdie, and Joseph Heller were just some of the writers who started their careers in advertising.
The winner received a cash prize of £2,000 awarded by a jury chaired by Tim Waterstone, founder of the chain of bookshops, Waterstone Bookshops.
Leading individuals in the advertising industry were mailed a book by Tim Waterstone himself.
But these were books with a difference. Inside they were blank, apart from a simple line of encouragement on the first page, “So, what’s your next chapter?”. They were also personalised. The dust jackets had the recipients’ name and the legend ‘Title Goes Here’, but were designed to relate to a famous piece of their work. Jeff Goodby of Goodby Silverstein, who wrote the ‘Got Milk?’ campaign, received a book featuring a milk bottle.
Richard Russell’s cover featured a beautifully crafted engine covered in butterflies, in homage to his Cannes Grand Prix winning Honda “Grrr” spot for Wieden and Kennedy. Lee Clow’s book featured a sledgehammer in reference to his famous Apple 1984 commercial. MullenLowe also sent out books to writers whose work had been highly awarded in the last few years.
The DM campaign was supported by print executions running in relevant trade media.
More entries to the competition were received than ever before. The agency received personal thanks from recipients of the books and promises that they would try to write a book as a result.
Imagine getting a book designed specially and individually for you. Especially one which lavished so much care and attention to the detail. Even if you’re on eof the lords and masters of advertising, you’d want to share it with people partly because you’re flattered and partly because you think your book is a thing of beauty.
Because you are one of the lords and masters, you have a large following. And thus it is that a dozen one-offs end up reaching tens of thousands of creative people around the world.
These mailings work on almost every level. They’re eye-catching, they’re witty, they make their point with great clarity. And they make an appeal to one quality that fiction writers and adland creatives have in common: personal vanity.
Agency: MullenLowe London
Country: United Kingdom