A Box Breaks the Mold
We’ve all seen direct mail with flashy production techniques—which do little more than grab the prospect’s attention for three seconds as she sorts through the mail. It’s rare when a thoughtful mailing with an interesting format can push her further than those three seconds. Three seconds pass, five seconds and it’s open, 10 seconds and she’s actually reading it!
With thought and planning, the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) found a format that pulls recipients into its Serving U mailing. Serving U is its new volunteer workshop, where companies can visit the food bank to practice team-building skills while boxing meals for the hungry. The program launched in May 2007 when Colleen Townsley Brinkmann, chief marketing officer, watched as a team of corporate volunteers evolved in minutes from a shy and unproductive group to a high functioning cooperative. She realized the volunteers not only were giving back to the community, but also were growing vital team-building skills for their business in theå process— and Serving U was born (Archive code #611-712188-0709).
To brand the program, Brinkmann brought in Brad Wines, president of RSW Creative Inc., a Dallas–based marketing and communications firm specializing in branding and direct mail. Wines and his team came up with the name Serving U because it “had an altruistic message and a collegiate type of feel— a double meaning which we thought was really appropriate and just connected with everyone who saw it,” he says.
RSW Creative designed the centerpiece of the marketing campaign, a 7˝ x 7˝ self-mailer that has four flaps on the reverse side that weave together and wafer-seal on the edges, resembling a shipping carton. There are logos and slogans stamped onto the outer’s front and back, such as “serving business. serving the community. Serving U,” and other “evidence” of wear and tear.