"It's so graphic that it has to capture the reader's attention," Vincent says. "The idea of an elephant standing on your kneecap
immediately expresses the idea of pain."
The growing use of voice chips in direct mailers perked many judges' ears and led to a handful of honorable mentions.
"I'm not quite sure that that's the acme of creativity, but it's definitely a trend," Fening says. "Direct mail needs to get
attention. When doctors or staff open it up and it has a voice chip, it's another way to send a message."
One trend that some judges wish would go away is the use of massive text on physician ads. While some agencies have made a
conscious effort to improve their designs, others can't shake the habit of using huge fonts and headlines.
"Doctors are not patients, they are not visually impaired, so why are we using 40 point type on the page?" Fishgoyt asks.
"It just makes the layout more cluttered."
Similar comments were made about a number of ads that featured charts. The consensus was that any information that can be
put in a chart, can instead be bullet pointed for more impact and style.
"Catching a doctor's attention in a focused, unique way is the best piece of communication," says David Garson, senior vice
president and creative director of art at The CementWorks. "If you don't do that, they aren't going to stop long enough to
read the content."