August mail in the Who’s Mailing What! Archive heralds the changing of the seasons as well as back to school. Despite such motivations, the mailstream witnessed few novel efforts from the retail sector. Let’s take a look at those few retailers who broke out of the pack and did some things out of the ordinary.
Responding to the recent draconian postal rates, some mailers changed their formats without changing an iota of their content—and thus gave a glimpse of the future. Radio Shack simply folded its old 9˝ x 11˝ flier in half in order to save on postage; it utilized an envelope-like flap on the side of the self-mailers’ last page to not only seal the fold-over, but also to use an effective teaser: “How much stuff can you do this fall? Just look inside.” (Archive code #910-171847-0708B).
Trader Joe’s went a simpler route: It simply shrunk the size of its seasonal menu guide to 6-1/4˝ x 8˝. Because it didn’t want to lose content, the food market added pages. Now, unfortunately, the guide is not as much fun to page through because each page has half the number of inviting items that are written in a J. Peterman-like fashion as it did previously (Archive code #910-415403-0708).
A variation on what it’s done before, Walgreen’s targeted AARP members with its effort. On the #10 outer, it announces “Exclusive offer for AARP Members inside” and, consistent with making a mailing readable for retirees, repeats the language in very large type in the middle. Of course, perfed to the top of the letter is something that will get their attention immediately: a $20 live check, made out to Walgreen’s, that can be used for any items in the store as long as the AARP member purchases any transferred prescriptions. Also, perfed to the bottom are three retiree-relevant coupons for products. With baby boomers nearing retirement age, this kind of mail will surely pop up more and more (Archive code #910-173479-0708).