Top 5 Creative Direct Mail Pieces of 2011
The end of the year is approaching, which means it’s time for an onslaught of “Top of 2011” lists. You’ll see anything from commercials to marketing strategies, but in this instance—we’re all about direct mail pieces.
The world of direct marketing is one that is cluttered with material. A lot of it may not be very good, but there tends to be a few gems tucked away. For one of our “Top of 2011” posts , we wanted to focus on direct mail that is creative, attention grabbing, but more importantly, direct mail that works.
This time around, the Printing Hub staff sat down and put our collective minds together to find the top 5 direct mail pieces that met the criteria stated above and did so with creativity and effectiveness. Some excelled more than others, so that is why we ranked them in order from #1-5.
1. GGRP Record Player – The creative minds at Grey Vancouver decided to create a direct mail piece that the recipient would want to keep. So for GGRP (Griffiths, Gibson and Ramsay Productions), a recording studio, they decided to create an actual 45-rpm record. The piece is called “The Town That Found Its Sound” and is a great example of an execution that has a keepsake value, and won’t get thrown away. This project, that ran on a cheap budget of only $5,000, won a prestigious Gold Lion award at Cannes.
2. Bang Your Own Drum – Created by The Consult, this direct marketing piece made waves by its excellent utilization of functionality and creativity. What The Consult aimed to do was to allow their client, Bang Your Own Drum, to showcase their skills as copywriters and of course reference their name . Included in the package are a business card/drum pad, drum stick/pencil, eraser and mailing envelope. This creates a unique sense of individuality because each mailer is hand written by copywriters at Bang Your Own Drum for one specific person or potential client.
3. Leafcutter Designs – Innovation and creativity are two areas that direct mail needs more of, and Leafcutter Designs certainly brings that to the table with this interesting concept. Dubbing themselves as the “World’s Smallest Postal Service”, Leafcutter Designs specialized in creating simple and small mailing pieces. The pieces are so small that you even need a magnifying glass to read them. Ranging from letters, packages and bulk/custom pieces you can always expect something different, and rather welcomed in the world of direct marketing.
4. Mlicki and Gorman-Rupp – Every company strives to create a solid brand image and even a story to go along with it. But how about a brand that creates a lone story for just one product? That is exactly what advertising agency Mlicki and pump manufacturer Gorman-Rupp decided to do. They created a creature, much like the Loch Ness monster, named “Blue Octo” and also create a fictitious team of researchers who track it all the way to the Water Environment Federation’s WEFTEC Convention. The story and execution was so good, Mlicki won the Deliver M.A.I.L. Award.
5. Chick-fil-a – What this direct mail piece lacks in design or creativity, it makes up for in follow through with the end user. A direct mail piece doesn’t need to be riddled with clever design and creativity to be effective—but rather the most important part is that the customer takes action on the “call-to-action.” And who can resist a promotion for free food just by activating a simple card?
We haven’t seen every direct mail piece that came out this year, so our “Top 5 Creative Direct Mail Pieces of 2011” isn’t the end all and be all of direct mail.
Do you have any examples that you think are worthy of making this list? Make sure to leave it in the comments below.