Today, the reality is that people are more discerning with what they spend their money on. In other words, it’s as important as ever to make sure your message resonates with your target audience and stays near the top of its minds.
Animal welfare nonprofit The Humane Society of Fairfax County has a unique way of doing just that … and it lies on—believe it or not—the BRE. Typically, the BRE is nothing more than a bland envelope with the company’s address and a place to fill out a return address. Nothing fancy. Nothing noteworthy. But The Humane Society turns that notion on its head.
For its “Take Me Home” campaign, mailed in April to donors who have given to the animal welfare organization in the past, The Humane Society takes advantage of the empty real estate on the BRE to create brand awareness by using the image of a dog and cat “talking” to each other through the kind of thinking bubbles you see in a newspaper comic strip like “Garfield.” And that same dog and cat image can be found on all of the organization’s reply envelopes, with different “conversations” in the bubbles.
The idea behind this is to create a brand for donors, says Tonie Howard, vice president of animal care for Grizzard, the direct marketing agency that handles The Humane Society of Fairfax County’s direct mail campaigns. “In every single appeal with the BRE, the dog and cat have different messages. They kind of talk to each other,” Howard notes. “The reason that we do that is we know older donors especially will take the reply form and BRE and put it in their bills to pay basket, and we want them to identify this particular Humane Society with that donor. It’s a subtle branding, and it kind of gets them involved. It’s that warm, fuzzy feeling.”