Blockbuster Direct Mail
In all, it's refreshing to know that today's consumer is not so jaded by television, the Internet and four-color cell phone screens that he or she is not able recognize a compelling offer or message simply because it's presented in black and white.
Smithsonian Rides a 10-year High
The billboard format, short on selling space, has to maximize every square inch of the backer and double postcard. The creative team of copywriter Terry Talley and Linda Tabatch honed in on Smithsonian magazine's renowned photography to command attention, then supported this imagery with text that was both direct and evocative of the publication's voice. Response stickers and an easy-return response mechanism—a BRC—combine to encourage orders. For good measure, Smithsonian tosses in a Fast 50 contest; the control prize was a counter-top television before being replaced by a digital camera. At a time when most publishers tout price-oriented offers via a plain-Jane discount voucher package, it's important to see that it's possible to balance offer and product positioning in a format that offers substance in just two elements.
Flattery Gets Easton Press Everywhere
One of the seven deadly sins, flattery, is a powerful motivator in direct marketing. It's also the perfect hook with which to sell Easton Press' leather-bound book collection, "100 Greatest Volumes Ever Written." From the outer teaser copy and letter that tell prospects they have been specially selected to receive this offer, to the name personalization featured in a window on the front of the outer, the entire mailing smacks of exclusivity and privilege. The personalization plays an even larger role than that of attention-grabber; the background on which the prospect's name is printed is a replica of the nameplate that will be sent with each book in the collection. The nameplates emphasize the message that such a library of books could be part of the prospect's legacy to his or her family. Copywriter Jeff Laurie and designer Dwight Ingram only personalized the order form, which keeps costs down, but the impact of this technique complements the overall theme of this control.