Caples showcases gutsy campaigns

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A shortlist of winners for the John Caples International Awards' Courageous Client Award was released this week. It highlights work by US-based The Factory Interactive, Germany's Proximity office, BMF Australia, UK-based Archibald Ingall Stretton and AIM Prox­imity New Zealand as some of the most bold and innovative direct marketing done around the world last year.

Contenders for the Courageous Client Award, which is unique for rewarding risk-taking by both client and agency, not only span the globe but also industries.

Archibald Ingall Stretton promoted its agency by detailing a wintry torture of its staff members if they stopped working to celebrate Christmas. The fictional Staff Blaster assured clients that productivity would not suffer during December.

The New Zealand Yellow Pages got the attention of the tech-savvy by covertly sponsoring “iPhone Jonny” to purchase the world's first iPhone. With digital device in hand, he revealed having used only to complete the unique task.

The Factory Interactive's promotion of the Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System service got gross with an interactive microsite called, on which users saw and heard from dirty residents.

For Lion Nathan's Tooheys Extra Dry, BMF created a user-generated campaign asking drinkers to redesign a brown paper bag to cover up the Extra Dry-branded bottles with their own creations.

To help auto dealer Smart get closer to car consumers, Proximity Germany invented a competitors' complete line of “perfect for the city” cars, and seeded online ads with a riddle to be solved by true Smart customers.

The winner of the Courageous Client award will be announced on March 19, along with other finalists at the Caples Awards dinner at New York's Capitale. For more information, visit

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