Sharon Cole

By Sharon Cole It's a bird, it's a plane ... wait, it is a plane ... sort of. It's Southwest Airlines sending a birthday greeting to one of its frequent flyers. And this year the company--known for its affordable airfare and friendly style--opted for a 1950s-ish, Superman cartoon design to attract the attention of its recipients (Archive code #510-605109-0507). From the way the crowd is positioned on the front of the envelope, it looks as if the characters are staring and pointing directly at the recipient's name. This is just the kind of personal attention Southwest takes pride in giving its

By Sharon Cole In the years leading up to the turn of the century, it seemed direct mail packages were just getting bigger and bigger. Whether it was a general attempt to stand out from standard-sized mail pieces or a subconscious connection to the approach of the new millennium can be left up to debate, but one company made a conscious decision to go against the grain. Birmingham, Ala.-based Southern Progress, a subsidiary of Time Warner, began distributing these petite 4-3/4" x 6-1/2" packages to promote one of its magazine titles. That decision proved to be a success, and now the

By Sharon Cole There is something uplifting, even cheerful, about a delicately colored envelope—particularly a pink one. It could be subliminal. Aside from the old "pink slip" and maybe Pepto Bismol, this comforting color is generally associated with good things—flowers, spring, candy. It even has become synonymous with one very good thing—the effort to cure and prevent breast cancer. The latter is exactly the case with this mailing, which appeared in the Who's Mailing What! Archive in April. In fact, on the front of the envelope is the unmistakable ribbon and insignia of The Susan G. Komen (SGK) Breast Cancer Foundation. Instantly, the

By Sharon Cole Last year, the National Geographic Society won a Direct Marketing Association Echo Award for its poly-bagged sample-issue mailing that featured a specimen issue titled, "Selections From NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC." The mailing, which offered a world map as a back-end premium, reaped great rewards for the prestigious society. But a consistent repeat of this campaign is simply too costly for any company or organization to consider. A variation had to be created. What evolved was a smaller and slimmer polybagged mailing that includes a poster-size world map as a front-end premium (Archive code #202-171603-0410B). The entire package consists of the world map and

By Sharon Cole At first blush, this summertime mailing sent out by the Strat-O-Matic Game Co., of Glen Head, N.Y., doesn't appear to be overly elaborate. Barely flaunting the company name or the goods inside, it would be fair to say it leans on the side of minimalism. The package includes a basic, #10 white envelope filled with a few usual components: an 8-1/2" x 11" letter listing available game sets; four order forms detailing football, hockey and basketball game products; and a four-color promotional brochure promoting computer versions of football and hockey Strat-O-Matic games. But behind this assortment of enclosures is a

By Sharon Cole Every year the marketers of USA Today Sports Weekly drop two major mailings to recruit sports enthusiasts as subscribers. One mailing goes out just before football season, and the other just before the baseball season begins. In the past, those mailings included giveaways such as footballs or hats for paid subscription orders—tchotchkes that typically bring in a decent response. This year, however, Ted Chase, senior manager of marketing and sales, says his company wanted to offer something different, something that really would pique the interest of recipients and, hopefully, stimulate a larger response. "We wanted to go outside of the

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