Like anything new, we the people of this fine nation, don’t always like change and in 1959 that’s exactly what happened to how we addressed a letter. Although it took 15 years until 1974 before the entire country was covered by a postcode, it needed several advertising campaigns to get the message across.
It was vital when introducing postcodes that the public be willing to adopt them, especially if the new address system was going to succeed. Before the Post Office started, psychological studies showed that they had to “compromise familiarity and brevity” to get people to accept them. So once this was taken into account and the alphanumeric system was rolled out, then the Post Office had to encourage us to use it – hence began the adverts and advertising campaigns to promote postcodes as a new means of addressing mail.
In the 1970s the Post Office used advertising campaigns to ‘remind’ us rather than trying to persuade people to use their postcodes. They realised that one of the big reasons for not using them was simply forgetfulness rather than a refusal.
In the early 1980s you may remember Poco the elephant. He was meant to make us associate our ‘forgetfulness’
Other campaigns, attempted to use storytelling to increase the use of postcodes (http://www.simply-
Finally, later in the 1980s the Post Office tried a more sophisticated approach with the notion of a romantic rendezvous to drive the message home, where a couple were to meet at a postcode (http://www.simply-