Nothing beats direct mail for the impact of imagery. Not email, certainly. Perhaps not even video carries the drama of a vibrant, colorful photograph you can hold in your hands. Done right, you can almost taste it. That's what Cinnabon discovered last holiday season when it sent nearby businesses a giant poster displaying the company's delectable, gooey cinnamon buns.
Looks good enough to smell
The campaign focused on 100 Cinnabon store locations and targeted 60,000 businesses located within a two-mile radius of each of those stores. The poster reminded potential customers working in the area that Cinnabon was just a coffee break away.
Each poster also included 20 perforated coupons. Cinnabon President Geoff Hill reported that the redemption rate of the coupons was an impressive 4.6 percent. That workers chose to take Cinnabon up on its coupon offer was great news, Hill said. But the main campaign objective was to ensure the stores' neighbors knew the bakeries were nearby and available to offer a quick treat for their fellow workers — even if they never have time to peruse the local mall.
Smells good enough to open
Scent has the power to trigger images, memories and emotions like no other branding tool, yet is usually ignored by marketers, according to "Whiff! The Revolution of Scent Communication in the Information Age" by C. Russell Brumfield. In the near future, Brumfield says, every product and experience will offer a unique scent capable of delivering a strategically focused branding message.
Paper can be infused with microcapsules that release a smell each time it is touched, adding the sensation of smell to the direct mail experience. To prove a point, Royal Mail in the U.K. used the technology for a mailing of its own to 6,500 top media decision makers. In referring to the A4 "chocolate" letter, Anthony Miller, head of media development at Royal Mail, says: "From our own results, this was the highest recall we've ever had for a campaign, at more than 80 percent."