Standing Up to Traditional CD Carriers
Interactive CD-ROMs should be a great involvement device in a mailing, but with the massive proliferation of AOL "drink coasters" showing up in people's mailboxes, the ability to get in under the junk-mail radar, even with something as substantial as a CD, has been getting hard.
This is in part what the regional marketers at Adam's Mark Hotel in Denver, CO, had in mind when they put together this nifty 5 1Ú2" x 8 1Ú2" cardboard disc carrier that pops up into a free-standing desk calendar (520ADAMAR1100). It's a simple construction of one continuous piece of cardboard folded in on itself so that when the sides of the mailing are pressed down, it forms an easel-like stand. On one side is a CD; on the other, a small 12-month calendar with holidays marked in red. The mailing was designed to attract event planners to utilize the facilities of the largest hotel in Denver.
"What we wanted was to have a direct mail piece that really stood out," says Selena Dunham, regional director of advertising and promotions at Adam's Mark Denver.
"We realized that people would be inundated with mail and planning during the holidays, so we needed something that would really stand out--something that they could use and keep later on." That, explains Dunham, was the purpose of the calendar. "We had already spent a great deal of money on developing the CD-ROM, so we figured why not incorporate it in the mailing."
The multimedia presentation on the CD gives a guided tour of the hotel with numerous 360-degree views and movie shorts. Included behind the CD, almost an afterthought, is a 3" x 3" buckslip inviting prospects to register online for a free trip for two to Denver.
Tawana Henderson, the account executive in charge of the project at Solis Advertising and Public Relations, says, "We suggested the offer to them as a way of helping to develop a database of e-mails."
The cost for a package like this can run pretty high. High-end printing coupled with hand insertion of the CD drive costs up. The margins involved with conferences and events, however, make high acquisition costs--upwards of $420 per response--viable.
"We had a very narrow scope in list selection," said Dunham. "We wanted to reach meeting planners that typically use downtown hotels, and we wanted to make certain that they made plans for well over 500 people."
The high level of targeting and creative that went into this piece leads Dunham to believe that a two-percent response will result in a 200-percent return on investment.
Tom McRae, marketing director for the Charlotte-based Cadmus which produces "CD-taxi" holders like the one used in the Adam's Mark mailing, calls the pop-up device a very efficient way to interactively package CDs. "When closed and shrink wrapped, the simple outside structure is a nice way to try and balance postal regulations and creativity," says McRae. Now, Cadmus produces a product that houses the CD on a foam rubber hub instead of in a cardboard slot. This effectively automates the entire process lowering the price considerably.