This contributed article is written by Jacob Beckley, VP of Innovation at Fusion92, a full service digital marketing agency located in Chicago.
Is direct mail dead? Is it on its way out? What's the future? Many marketers are being asked these questions from their clients on a regular basis. Whatever the response, direct mail still accounts for over 50 percent of the US marketing spend according to the DMA and, on average, still pulls the best response rates out of any other marketing medium.
To promote an upcoming sound art and music installation exhibit, Bonniers Konsthall, a contemporary art gallery in Stockholm, created, with help from DDB Stockholm, a Spotify track list that became the invitation to a new exhibit, More Than Sound.
A target group of art critics and bloggers were emailed a personalized link to the track list that contained the invitation (made up by the track titles) and music, created by experimental music producer Hans Berg, which consisted of music samples from the exhibit.
When one thinks of car dealer advertising, one usually conjures images of buffoons screaming in lots full of cars with balloons and flags tied overhead. This work from Lowe Roche for Toronto-based Plaff Auto in Toronto conjures an entirely different image.
The agency set out to create customized direct mail pieces for homeowners in an upscale part of the city. They took a team of creatives and a Porche into various neighborhoods, shot the car in front of homes, created the DM and then delivered it to homeowner's doorsteps.
The effort paid off with a 32 percent of recipients responding to a website to schedule a test drive.
Marketing firm Epsilon is out with its sixth annual Look Book that highlights creativity in email marketing. This year, in addition to looking at copywriting, art direction and relevancy to target, they've added a People's Choice Award.
Featured companies include Shutterfly, Starwood Hotels, Starbucks, Amazon, Hershey's, Cole Haan, American Express, KeyBank, Dell, Brooks Brothers and others; 26 in total.
Download the Look Book now and check out how these brands achieved successful creativity.
A breakdown of the Grand Prix winners announced last night in the categories of Direct, Promo and Activation. Click on the category to see the full list of Gold, Silver and Bronze winners.
Direct: Orcon Broadband, "Orcon + Iggy Pop," Special Group Auckland. Users were invited to create video auditions, then post them on a dedicated Orcon site, for the chance to play live with Iggy Pop.
Here's one of the winning auditions (8 band members were chosen in total).
We all get save-the-kids! mailers, and most of us have received the kind with the nickel or the quarter enclosed, for added effect.
But it never occurred to us how stupid this approach is until The Denver Egotist pointed it out:
If your envelope line reads "A Nickel Could Save A Child's Life!" and you not only enclose the aforementioned nickel, but spend a few more of them popping it in the post, you've just fucked yourselves and the importance of the message.
For those of us that have already passed precious shekels to a charity, it really leaves you wondering how much of that cash was recycled as nickels for the trash heap. But who knows, maybe this works, and we've been doing ourselves a great disservice by hoarding for retirement. What's that proverb? It takes money to make money?
When you're cruising through your inbox to rid it of the few items your spam filter missed, pointless newsletters you never signed up for, Nigerian-style scams (which, sadly, still make their way through) and shockingly unrelated press releases and you stumble up one featuring an image of a woman bent over with her head in a box and wearing nothing more than heels, and underwear, you do sort of pause and wonder, "Huh? What the hell is this for?"
OK, that was a long sentence. Anyway, this email is from The Observer's Very Shop List and it's all about improving your summer wardrobe with a visit to Rue La La, a "a private two-day sales boutique of the most desirable designers at 30-80% off retail prices."
Have at it.
Last night was the ceremony for Radio, Media and Outdoor -- not very exciting stuff, but you get a chance to review highly localized work you wouldn't otherwise be exposed to. Always good to remember what ad life is like outside internets.
Here are the Grand Prix winners for each category. Hopefully by now I don't need to tell you where to go to see the full list of oversized bookend recipients.
For RADIO: Net#Work BBDO/Johannesburg wins Grands Prix for "Dancer," "Dog" and "Ferret" -- three radio pieces for Virgin Atlantic Airlines, South Africa. Wanna hear? Listeny-listen.
For MEDIA: JWT Japan/Tokyo scores for "Kit Kat Mail 2009" on behalf of Nestle's Kit-Kat.
For OUTDOOR: TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg wins Grands Prix for "Fight the Regime," "Cheaper than Money," "Trillion Dollar Billboard," "Z$250,000,000" and "Wallpaper" -- on behalf of The Zimbabwean. The campaign's objective was, in great part, to demonstrate the ridiculous rate of inflation affecting Zimbabwean currency as a result of the current regime.
We covered one execution in which trillions of Zimbabwe dollars were used to wallpaper a billboard. Trillion dollar bills were also used as flyers. See the rest of the work; if you're curious about the roots of Z's current political situation, read some colourful background.
So Knob Creek, due to demand for its bourbon, is running low on supply and is at risk of running dry before its next batch is ready in November. Rather than bottle the next batch before its full nine year maturity, the comapny has turned its lack of product into a promotion. A sick joke of a promotion but a promotion none the less.
We've been sent all sorts of goodies from marketers in the mail. Sadly, most are of the throw-a-way variety. This is most certainly not the case when it comes to liquor, unless you consider pouring the product down one's throat throwing it away.
Adam Rifkin is trying to promote his new movie, Look, an examination of how pervasive video surveillance cameras have become and the sometimes shocking footage they capture. The movie's producers intended to mail postcards with scenes from the movie and the copy "Will you be watching? May 5, 2009" on the back.
One of the postcards carries an image from the movie which shows a man having his way with a woman in a storage closet. Technically, there's no nudity but the Post Office has called the promotional piece "obscene" and won't allow it to be mailed.