The expression “red-letter day” refers to the practice of ancient holy men recording holidays in red ink on church calendars. In Chinese culture and symbolism, red means good luck and success. Chinese societies also traditionally give monetary gifts in red packets.
So how would red mail work? Globus, a tourism and travel company owned by Group Voyagers Inc., decided to find out. Recently, it used red self-mailers to advertise a discount on 2008 travel to Asia. While planning the campaign, Globus elected to employ a new ad agency, Denver–based Juice Communications. That’s why in August of 2007, Globus rolled out an A/B creative split of 50,000 pieces. Version A was the previous year’s creative, and version B was a new mailer keeping the copy and imagery the same, but with a few format changes by Juice Communications (Archive codes #501-414404-0709A/B).
Both of Globus’ Asia 2008 mailings evoke exotic luxury on the outer with heavy red paper stock and gold, Asian-inspired patterns. Globus is trying to get out of its “Europe comfort zone” and highlight more niche destinations like Asia, says Kelley Maxwell, manager of consumer marketing at Littleton, Colo.–based Group Voyagers Inc. The offer, “400 Off per couple on any air-inclusive Asia Vacation,” is printed on the front of both outers. “I don’t know if we ever go out with a direct mailer that’s talking about a destination unless we have an offer. To help the open rate, we want to make the outside of the package attractive but still let them know that there’s an offer,” Maxwell reveals.
The two mailers’ travelogue-like creative delivers on the company’s slogan, “Every journey tells a story,” featuring scrapbook-style photos and handwritten notes recounting first-person moments spent in China and Japan, such as, “The exquisite jade rock is one of those little parts of the trip, a moment … that will stay with me forever.” The creative makes the distant and exotic location accessible to the prospect.