Virtual Reality Can’t Replace Actual Reality, Says Salmat

Virtual Reality Can’t Replace Actual Reality, Says Salmat
SHARE
THIS



Some marketers have been quick to jump on the ‘Virtual Reality’ bandwagon, using affordable VR headsets to bring a virtual experience to consumers. But Virtual Reality is just that – nothing can ever replace the power of engaging our full sensory array: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. In this, Actual Reality trumps Virtual Reality every time.

The unique proposition of Actual Reality is the delivery of something real and tangible. One channel that can deliver such an experience and engage the sensory suite in a tactile, repeatable, scalable and targeted fashion is product/service sampling, through the letterbox.

Most media channels cater for one or two of these senses, but it’s when the majority of the senses are engaged in harmony that product recall increases exponentially and you make a ‘real’ connection with your target consumer.

This sentiment is echoed by former executive creative director of Ogilvy & Mather and current editor of Directory Magazine Patrick Collister. He saud, “Traditional advertising isn’t as effective as it used it be, and as a result, brands are looking for new ways to create emotional bonds with consumers. Letterbox sampling gives brands amazing opportunities to create relationships with people. Why? Because it involves them through their senses. By combining creativity with tactility, letterbox sampling has the staying power other media can only dream of.”

The science of letterbox sampling

Research company Millward Brown studied the brain to see how it processes physical marketing materials, such as direct mail, compared to virtual materials presented on screen. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imagery (fMRI) scans, the study found that physical materials:

  • Leave a deeper footprint in the brain;
  • Involve more emotional processing, which is important for memory and brand associations;
  • Produce more brain responses connected with internal feelings, suggesting greater “internalisation” of the ads.

One of the biggest benefits of letterbox sampling is its ability to send something tactile that affects someone’s memory, emotions and behaviour.

  • Sight – 83 per cent of human learning occurs visually.
  • Sound – Our mood is improved by 65 per cent if we hear sounds we enjoy.
  • Touch – A pleasant touch releases a hormone that promotes feelings of well-being and calm, and a positive tactile experience can increase your mood by 29 per cent.
  • Taste – Just like touch, a positive taste can increase our mood by 23 per cent.
  • Smell – 75 per cent of the emotions we generate on a daily basis are affected by smell.

Collister recently worked with customer marketing and engagement specialist Salmat to compile a whitepaper of best practice letterbox sampling which features the latest intelligence on sampling as well as some fantastic examples of product and service sampling from around the globe.

Encouraging product trail

Letterbox sampling is the perfect channel for FMCG because it allows brands to actually get into the hands of customers.

For example, Head & Shoulders sent a nicely designed pillow package to 1.5 million households nationally with a message that was sure to entice:  “Itching to open me?” Inside was a handy travel-sized sample of Head & Shoulders so they could test the product.

Salmat worked with Head & Shoulders to carefully select households of women aged 35-45 in close proximity to specific supermarkets. While the results of the campaign are proprietary, they were extremely positive, resulting in a long-lasting relationship between Salmat and Head & Shoulders. It has also fostered many more with 100s of FMCG brands fulfilling and distributing their product samples through Salmat.

head and shoulders

Sampling beyond FMCGs

As the above example shows, letterbox sampling has been used predominantly by the FMCG industry. However, more and more tech and non-FMCG creatives have embraced the benefits of sampling for services, with great results.

The smallest Airbnb house ever

Airbnb wanted to raise brand awareness and understanding in China. The task was to reach out to leading travel and lifestyle journalists to create brand awareness in a way that would educate and excite them.

The company created a box replica of the very first Airbnb home, exact in terms of layout and interiors. All the miniature furniture was folded and glued by hand. Images of selected properties in popular destinations for Chinese travellers were placed on the wheel of a tiny projector thereby creating the world’s smallest screening room.

AIRBNB_02

When the boxes were sent out, Airbnb received overwhelming positive feedback. The mailing achieved a 68 per cent direct response rate and 50 pieces of media coverage.

Lena Sönnichsen, Airbnb’s head of communications for APAC, said that the piece not only explained Airbnb’s background, brand and benefits beautifully, but also captured the sense of quirk and whimsical magic that the brand is always after.

Google takes flight

Closer to home, Google successfully used letterbox sampling to engage more agency people and digital professionals in their ‘Google Partners’ program. Google found that while a number of Partners had signed up, they had not completed all the steps to make the most of their membership. It needed to send a mailer to encourage these Partners to complete their profiles and engage with the Google+ community.

Google knew their target audience was time poor, so they wanted to provide a welcome break to the day, rather than more work. Mailing them a remote-controlled helicopter certainly got their attention at once because it was fun. But it also had purpose. Because it was hard to fly, you had to keep practicing to get better. That was a clear analogy with the Google Partners program: The more people put in, the more they would get out.

google salmat

The piece was mailed to 1,000 new Google Partners in Australia and New Zealand leading to a 26 per cent increase in completed company profiles, a 42 per cent increase in completed individual profiles and an 18 per cent increase in companies in the program.

It also has longevity. Long after an ad or an email has been forgotten, this helicopter will sit on a desk or a shelf as a reminder of the Partner program.

Sarah Pike, chief marketing officer of Salmat said, “These examples highlight just how creative and engaging Letterbox Media can be. Better yet, it can be highly targeted to ensure you get the right product into the hands of the right customer to solicit the right action. Letterbox sampling has been proven to stimulate brand awareness, customer feedback, product trials and long-term sales.”

For more letterbox sampling inspiration and advice, check out Salmat’s letterbox sampling whitepaper ‘Actual Reality’ here.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Advertising Standards Bureau AJF Partnership Melbourne Collaboration Windows

Latest News

The Turning Tide Against Surveillance Capitalism
  • Opinion

The Turning Tide Against Surveillance Capitalism

In this guest post, CTO of Wiise, Hamish Browne (pictured below), says tech’s new focus on privacy will lead to new rules and new ways of doing business for marketers… With the delicate balance between customer data and privacy in the spotlight like never before, the potential emergence of new standards and business models, is […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Kim Kardashian Spruiks Cryptocurrency In Instagram Ad
  • Media
  • Technology

Kim Kardashian Spruiks Cryptocurrency In Instagram Ad

Businesswoman, reality TV star, and social media personality Kim Kardashian has posted an ad for mysterious cryptocurrency Ethereum MAX [EMAX]. In a post on her Instagram story – where she has 228 million followers – Kardashian wrote: “Are you guys into crypto????” “This is not financial advice but sharing what my friends just told me […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Great Southern Bank Rebrands With ‘Happily Clever After’ Via Indie Agency Richard Rose
  • Campaigns

Great Southern Bank Rebrands With ‘Happily Clever After’ Via Indie Agency Richard Rose

Great Southern Bank has launched a brand campaign this week, ‘Happily Clever After’, coinciding with its name change from Credit Union Australia, bringing to life its purpose of helping all Australians own their own home. The journey to changing from Credit Union to Great Southern Bank began back in 2020. When Australia’s largest customer-owned bank, […]

Nine Promotes Jo Clasby To Commercial Director, Publishing
  • Marketing

Nine Promotes Jo Clasby To Commercial Director, Publishing

Nine has promoted Jo Clasby to the role of commercial director – publishing, where she will report to Nick Young. She was previously director of client partnerships – publishing. Her new role establishes her at the same level of seniority as Anthony Smyth, commercial director – radio. Smyth was promoted at the start of this […]

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., listens as Narendra Modi, India's prime minister, not pictured, speaks during a town hall meeting at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, U.S., on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. Prime Minister Modi plans on connecting 600,000 villages across India using fiber optic cable as part of his
  • Technology

“No F*cking Way!”: Pink Floyd Frontman Refused To Give Mark Zuckerberg Rights To Song

Roger Waters, co-founder of Pink Floyd, said he refused to give Mark Zuckerberg the rights to use hit song Another Brick in the Wall (Part Two). Waters was speaking at a pro-Julian Assange event when he said that he had been offered a “huge, huge amount of money” for the use of the 1979 hit […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Accor Celebrates Aussie & NZ Cities With New ‘Go ALL Out’ Campaign
  • Campaigns

Accor Celebrates Aussie & NZ Cities With New ‘Go ALL Out’ Campaign

Hospitality giant Accor is shining a light on the joy of cities through its newest campaign, ‘Go ALL Out’, which launches in Australia and New Zealand today. The gateway to the ‘Go ALL Out’ campaign is ALL – Accor Live Limitless, a lifestyle loyalty program that integrates rewards, services and experiences throughout the Accor portfolio […]

Marketing Firm Silverbean Set To Double Headcount To Support New Client Wins
  • Marketing

Marketing Firm Silverbean Set To Double Headcount To Support New Client Wins

Global affiliate and partner marketing firm Silverbean has secured new contracts with 13 major Australian brands and is now working to double the size of its Asia-Pacific team. Silverbean launched in Australia in 2019 and has seen steady growth through its work with retailers. Now, with 15 new brands joining the Silverbean portfolio, the agency […]

Xandr Launches New Guide Exploring The Future Of Identity
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Xandr Launches New Guide Exploring The Future Of Identity

Xandr, AT&T’s advanced advertising company, today released “Shaping the Future of Identity,” an industry guide exploring the approaches for buyers and sellers, as well as market participants, as they evaluate identity solutions in preparation for a future without third-party cookies.

GTI Appoints New GM Of Marketing & Strategy, Snares Fresh Client
  • Marketing

GTI Appoints New GM Of Marketing & Strategy, Snares Fresh Client

Tourism PR and marketing agency GTI has announced the appointment of longtime media executive Jenny Pham as its new general manager of marketing and strategy. Pham (pictured above) will lead the agency’s marketing division with responsibility for strategy, media and consumer marketing, while GTI founder and managing director Sarah Anderson remains as the day-to-day lead […]

Hospitality Networking Platform Clipboard Launches Equity Crowdfunding Campaign
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Hospitality Networking Platform Clipboard Launches Equity Crowdfunding Campaign

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 […]