Direct Mail is Not Dead

August 11, 2015

We often talk about the importance of engagement over exposure. But that’s not to say that traditional exposure methods can’t include high levels of engagement. One of those traditional methods that we believe can be highly beneficial for brands today is the old direct mailer. Nicky Bullard (Executive Creative Director at LIDA/M&C Saatchi and part of the Direct jury at D&AD 2014) summarises what every successful and in-turn potentially award winning direct mail campaign should entail in five key points.

  • Do you know me/Do you want to get to know me?
  • Does it make me feel something?
  • Does it make me want to do something?
  • Has the response been measured?

It doesn’t happen very often that we see campaigns of this calibre in our letterboxes (enough with the real estate flyers and Aldi brochures please) but here are a couple of our favourites to show you that direct mail is certainly not dead and you can make it personal with a little clever thinking.

Air Force FM

Agency - George Patterson Y&R Melbourne
Client – Defence Force Recruiting

This clever campaign was sent out to engineering students who received a crafty pack with everything required to construct an FM radio. Once the radio was complete an advertisement with a fast-tracked career offering was played. The twist was there were no instructions included with the pack, therefore only the smartest and craftiest successful students were aware of the role.

Edible Mailer

Agency – JWT Dubai
Client – Boecker Public Health

Targeting two of Dubai’s everyday issues – annoying business cards shoved under apartment doors and pesky hard-to-get-rid-of household cockroaches, this direct mailer shoves business cards under doors with purpose. Recipients of the mailer are told to leave the card overnight on kitchen benches, where the chocolate flavoured cards will attract pesky cockroaches to dine on ink. If there are cockroaches present, it will reveal the message “You Need Us” with hotline number. See the case study here.

The Gnome Experiment

Agency – OgilvyOne Worldwide London
Client – Kern & Sohn

Kern & Sohn is a global company specialising in precision scales that wanted to be known throughout schools and labs worldwide for their expertise in their field. To test the phenomena that gravity varies slightly from different areas of the globe, they sent a tiny gnome and scale set to scientists all over. The story become a worldwide sensation, reaching and educating over 355 million people in 152 separate countries. See the case study on the little guy (known as “Kern”) here.

Source: D + AD