Thursday, February 02, 2006

Cagey creative (Pam)

I drive our receptionist mental.

Every morning, at 10 or so, I call her to see if the mail has come in. She knows my next question will be, "How many you got there, lady?" She's aware of my mail count obsession. I think she might feel a bit sorry for me and wonder what in my life might make me happy aside from Canada Post. I can see it in her eyes sometimes.

Today our first responses to our climate change direct mail came in. The next four weeks will give me a pretty good read on how well we'll do.

The package for this campaign is the best of my least I think so. We'll see what the results are. DM is so fickle. Just when you think you know how people will respond, they do something different.

(People who are direct mail specialists like to talk about how scientific DM is. Well, maybe measuring it is scientific, if you call spreadsheets and databases "science". Otherwise, I'm pretty convinced that it's no less art than brand advertising is.)

Anyway, check this bad boy out.

The outer envelope has a giant window through which a personalized brochure is showing. On the brochure are a bunch of name tags of people at an international global warming summit. In the foreground is a name tag on which is lasered the recipient's name...on an angle and centred in the middle of the tag. The personalized name tag image is repeated again on the letterhead.


Believe me when I tell you that this kinda fancy lasering gets DM production wonks all hot and bothered.

Me, I think it's a real cagey use of personalization. The power of one's own name is actually very profound. Much as one might profess differently, it's all about oneself at some deep psychological level. The ego must be fed and seeing one's name on a full-colour hunk of mail gives the ego a belly full. Here, the use of a person's name paints a mental picture where the recipient can envision herself at an international summit. She wants to find out what the hell she is doing there.

That's right. People are going look inside this package.

It was the brain child of FCB Direct -- led by the best dressed creative directors in the city. (Dean Maruna and Scott Pinkney wear suits every single day. Abnormal. Vaguely unsettling. And the suit thing is weird, too.)

Check out the whole package.

The challenge here was to reinterpret the TV concept in direct mail. I had a very difficult time imagining how it was going to be possible and was quite anxious as we waited to see concepts. The second they unveiled it, I knew it was a winner.

This concept came to us in the middle of our struggles with the development of the print ads. I felt so strongly about this creative that the agency indulged me in working this up as a print ad. In the end, we chose to continue working with the original print concept that we had.

Credit to the agency for their lack of inter-departmental rivalry (or at least hiding any whiff of it from me...they kept it in Vegas, so to speak). It's an uncomfortable position for all involved. I've been agency side, I know what time it is.

So! Now we count the mail and see what this super sexy DM does. I'll keep you posted.


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