When a stack of direct mail pieces are in my mailbox, I cringe! How and why do I receive a stack of high gloss-coated pieces of card stock of various shapes and sizes from companies like Ruby Tuesday’s and Dan Vaden Chevrolet?! The ones from the car dealership even have a car key attached because it fits in the ignition of the new car I’m supposed to retrieve from the lot. One day I plan to attempt to claim my new car, but I digress. There is at least one direct mail in my mailbox, either at work or at home… Every. Single. Day.
Saturday Night Live aired a piece on Direct Mail Marketers this past weekend to offer frustrated consumers like myself a little more insight to the madness that is direct mail. It proved to me that I’m not the only one with this distaste for direct mail. And throwing the pieces in the recycling bin without really reading them still doesn’t sooth the irritation.
Today, I had a different reaction……
Drew came to show me an ingenious and earth-friendly direct mail piece. It’s a promotional piece from Veer, a company that provides stock photography, illustration, typefaces, etc. for use in professional creative work, such as graphic design, motion design, advertising and film making. They wanted to announce their new batch of images and stock photography available to help creatives like Drew capture “green thinking” in the design work they do.
If direct mailing pieces HAD to exist, this is the standard by which their presence should be measured. Veer’s piece was so creative, I actually stopped to read the printed words – the soul purpose of this form of marketing – on the 7X5 piece (give or take) of cardboard. And here’s why:
1. The first thing that popped out at me were the assortment of what at first appear to be random words arranged on the back. The words had a debossed look to them, luring me to I actually read them. That, and the fact that they were obviously not printed in a conventional way.
2. Once I read the words (which were a mix of feel-good and feel-bad terms), I was drawn in even more to read the smaller print below. The smaller print basically reads that what is on the card explains what they’ve done to their new batch of green images, and suggests I go online to look at the reel. Then a smaller set of print instructs me to go outside because the sun will reveal a phrase on the card.
Here’s what I saw:
3. Not only is this phrase the inspiration of their green feature, but it doubles as an entry code to participate in a drawing to win Earth-friendly Veer merchandise.
4. By now I’m thinking “this is so cool…” so I turn it around to the address-label-side of the card were I notice that this was “printed on 100% recycled paper.” YAY!!!
This piece is going to skip the recycling bin altogether. It’s going to hang out on my desk for a while (before Susan snags it for her idea bank), giving Veer an increased chance of occupying my metal awareness a few times throughout the day. I already checked out the link (www.veer.com/ideas/green) they provided and watched the reel, which is very well done, by the way. Hey, I’ll probably even show it to a few other friends.
I think this direct mail piece gets a “A+” for achieving effective messaging delivered through a creative concept that was eco-friendly. All that’s missing is the key that is supposed to start my new car on some car lot somewhere.