“If you do something interesting, people will be interested. It’s that simple,” says Google’s Head of Design, Patrick Collister.
It’s this philosophy which has led Patrick to becoming both a proponent and avid collector of letterbox media campaigns in all their quirky, memorable and physical glory.
The catalyst for his advocacy was a furry postcard he received in the mail many years ago for a Lost Cat and Dogs Home. His inability to shake his memory of both the creative example and who it was advertising led to researching similar letterbox campaigns from around the world.
During this research Collister teamed up with letterbox media providers Salmat to help shortlist and showcase 18 amazing examples into a book titled ‘I Wish I’d Thought of That’.
“Unfortunately no Aussie campaigns made the cut” says Salmat’s Head of Agency Sales, Luke Sullivan, “but hopefully this global showcase of emerging trends and creative innovations will educate and inspire local creatives that letterbox media can be a powerful complementary medium to any channel strategy.”
We have made a selection of some of these best practice letterbox media examples below. For further inspiration the entire booklet of case studies, with results and commentary, is available here.
French Karate magazine Karate Bushido wanted customers to renew their subscriptions and attract some additional recruits. With the help of ad agency TBWA in France the magazine targeted near to 3,000 potential subscribers. The potentials found a wooden plank in their mailboxes with all the details to subscribe.
“This has been described as one of the most brilliant ideas to drop through a letterbox in the last ten years,” says Collister.
“It makes a statement about the brand just as dramatically as it urges a transactional response.”
Indian cosmetic company Lass Natural Cosmetics has minimal artificial bits and bobs in its products, however that means the creams and ointments don’t last as long on the shelves.
Indian agency Mudra Communications envisioned coupons for customers that would literally dissolve to showcase the product’s quick shelf life, coupled with the fact it’s au naturale, as is the brand.
70% of the coupons were redeemed. If you didn’t redeem it, you would just have a rotting leaf on your hands.
The Salmat team says: “It’s refreshing to see that not everyone in advertising is fixated on TV and online film. At a time when direct marketing is increasingly about clicks and the number of views, this had an immediate and measurable effect on the bottom line.”
Eat This Book
Land Rovers can take on any obstacle in the desert; their owners cannot. This edible survival guide for the Arabian Desert, created by Y&R in the UAE, was delivered to 5,000 homes in Dubai. It has the nutritional value of a cheeseburger. So it’s like going to Macca’s basically. It also had reflective packaging which you could use to signal for help.
The Salmat team liked how this edible book was created to inspire the mind, not the tastebuds. “It kindled a sense of adventure. … When you hold a pack like this in your hands, it simply expands in your mind.”
In an effort to showcase the horrendously high number of child soldiers in Africa, UNICEF and ad agency Y&R in South Africa sent out 1,000 packs of toy soldiers, but the toy soldiers were actually children doing handstands, riding a bike, playing soccer.
UNICEF says there was an immediate rise in volunteer applications and donations for its child soldier rehabilitation program.
“This pack went to a thousand people and reached a million or so more,” says the team. “When you have a strong creative idea like this, it goes ‘viral’, people want to share it and talk about the issue it raises. Yet many hardnosed marketers would never have seen its potential. Many would have considered it too expensive or its reach too small.
“The numbers would suggest that an insert in a national newspaper or a low-cost delivery to a couple of hundred thousand homes would be a more judicious approach. But that’s the thing about numbers, they never make provisions for the incredible possibilities of the human imagination.”
Few people know how much carbon dioxide they’re emitting every day from simple household things. The UK Government along with agency Tullo Marshall Warren delivered white boxes to housing commissions, encouraging them to sign up for a training toolkit on saving energy. When the box was opened a balloon floated out. It was the equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere after leaving a light on for 40 minutes.
The results showed 40% of those who received a white box ordered the training kit, and 96% of those who attended the session changed their energy behaviours.
Wales is wet. No denying it. For this reason, the Welsh country probably isn’t high on your list of ‘Ultimate Holiday Destinations’.
Visit Wales didn’t let that stop them though, devising a letterbox ad campaign through direct marketing agency Partners Andrews Aldridge to show all the things tourists could do in the rain.
The results of the campaign show an extra 14,883 people visited Wales, even in the rain. “It’s friendly and tongue-in-cheek, what’s not to like?
Stone, Twig, Water
Jeep wanted its new Cherokee to appeal to those with an adventurous nature. Leo Burnett Brazil created a letterbox campaign that dropped off objects from a foreign country into letterboxes. The campaign suggested people may like to return the objects, a twig, stone and some water, to the countries they belonged to.
Those that returned the objects were set up in hotels by Jeep.
“Even if you chuck the rock in the yard, the point has been made – this Jeep can take you anywhere and that’s a solid testimony to the power of a good idea.”
Glow in the Dark
New Zealand energy company, Genesis, wanted to help people reduce their bills and energy consumption.
The idea executed by agency Draft in NZ saw flyers with fluorescent ink printed and delivered to people’s mailboxes. Recipients literally had to turn off the lights to read the message.
“What is interesting is how playful this idea is,” says the Salmat team. “Whoever picks it up is almost certainly going to be intrigued enough by the message (turn off the lights to read this) to do it.”
To check out the remaining shortlisted letterbox campaigns, you can order a free copy of the book here.
Seven has announced the total judging line-up for this season of Australia’s Got Talent. Patrick-Harris, who is American, is best known for his television work in How I Met Your Mother, as well as his role in the critically acclaimed film Gone Girl. He has also hosted a number of awards shows, including the Oscars, Tonys, and […]
WhatsApp has reaffirmed its commitment to user privacy in a new global campaign, following controversial policy changes earlier this year. The Facebook-owned messaging platform revealed earlier this year it would be sharing certain data with Facebook as a condition of use, with the potential for this data to be used for targeted ads. The changes […]
Clipboard, a free professional networking platform for the hospitality industry, has announced it will seek to raise its next round of funding via equity crowdfunding platform Birchal. This will power its vision to transform the way the fragmented hospitality industry connects, shares experiences, markets and recruits. With a growing member database of over 24,000 hospitality […]
BIG W has joined forces with Verizon Media’s branded content division, RYOT Studio, to give Aussies a new way to shop Australia’s favourite annual toy sale, Toy Mania, using augmented reality (AR). In a first for BIG W, customers can scan a WebAR code to ‘place’ select outdoor toys from the Toy Mania sale virtually […]
The #SeeingRed campaign by Hey Girls UK uses discordance to its advantage, conveying the frustration and disempowerment of period poverty. Hey Girls UK are a period brand seeking to end period poverty in the UK, selling period underwear, cups, pads, and tampons. They run on a ‘Buy One, Give One’ scheme, where for every product […]
An upcoming film about the terrorist attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, has been widely criticised for promoting a ‘white saviour’ narrative. Members of the Muslim community have also said it is “too soon” to fictionalise the shooting, which happened in 2019. White supremacist Brenton Tarrant murdered 51 worshippers at Al Noor Mosque, […]
Isentia has announced a takeover offer from Access Intelligence, which is subject to shareholder approval. Under the offer, Isentia shareholders will receive $0.175 per share in cash; this implies an Enterprise value of $67 million. Access Intelligence is a technology-led company delivering SaaS products that address the fundamental business needs of customers in the PR, […]
CHEP Tech, CHEP’s technology offering, has strengthened its Sydney team with new hires, including ex-Isobar engineering leaders, Tim Chapman and Kirill Frolov, alongside the promotion of Jacinta Karras to Head of Tech Programs and Charlotte Bruton’s role expansion from Head of Mixed Reality to Head of Innovation Strategy. Mark Gretton, chief technology officer of CHEP […]
After it was initially delayed, a Four Corners episode on QAnon, and a link between the conspiracy and PM Scott Morrison, aired last night. The ep – which had 722,000 viewers, as per OzTAM’s metro data – interviewed the family of Australian QAnon followed Tim Stewart. Stewart is a family friend of Morrison, who has publically […]
With the on-time deadline right around the corner, now is the time to submit your entry for B&T’s newest awards program, Best of the Best. On-time entries for Best of the Best will be accepted until 5pm (AEST) on Friday 25 June. And, while you can submit entries after this date for another week, it’s definitely best […]
New data, compiled by Deloitte and released by industry body Commercial Radio Australia, shows a rebound in radio advertising. According to the data, commercial radio advertising revenue for metropolitan stations jumped by 72.6 per cent in the month of May to reach $59.605 million from $34.534 million a year ago. The rise reflects a strong […]
Swedish bank Nordax has created a tool to urge people to buy less online – and to make smoothies instead. How we shop online is constantly evolving, with new ways to pay and get items delivered. Now, with a global pandemic keeping everyone bored at home, online shopping has reached new heights. Nordax Bank, a […]
It might still be June, but the deadline for entries into this year’s B&T awards is fast approaching (they’re due Monday 19 July at 5 PM, in case you were wondering). This year we’re helping you like never before with our new series, ‘How To Win A B&T Award’, where we speak with a host of judges, […]