Want to target your potential clients and grab their attention with ad campaigns? You can do that with the help of unique, customized campaigns that will increase brand awareness.
Let’s take a look at some direct mail examples of popular direct mail marketing from reputed companies.
Candle Box (Earth Hour)
This creative idea was used to mark Earth Hour. The company sent out beautiful yellow candles in cardboard boxes to industry leaders and CEOs.
The cardboard box was designed to mirror the façade of a building and when the candle was pulled out, it resembled “turning off the lights’.
Free Kit Kat Chunky (Nestlé)
Nestle came up with this enticing campaign for the ad of the Kit Kat Chunky chocolate bar. They sent out a card saying that they weren’t able to deliver the chocolate bar since it was too “chunky” and couldn’t fit in the letterbox.
They were asked to collect the free bar from their newsagent. The idea caught the eye of the people and there was a definitive rise in sales.
Build a Recyclable Helmet (Smart)
Smart promoted its newly introduced range of e-bikes through this alluring advertising. They sent out recycled cardboard helmets that the users could assemble themselves.
Not only did this highlight the importance of their environmentally friendly bikes, but it also encouraged cyclists to wear helmets and stay safe!
DNA Box (Jeep)
To promote their new Cherokee line, Jeep came up with this fascinating selling technique. They sent out a test kit to their users with clues regarding the brand’s core concept. The clock reflected “anytime” while the compass depicted “anywhere”.
The seven test tubes contained various elements of nature that stood for freedom, authenticity, adventure, and passion.
Macbeth Promotion (The Theatre Academy)
To promote the classic drama, Macbeth, the Theatre Academy sent out paper bags to potential customers with a large M emblazoned on them.
These paper bags were well-received by loyal customers and are an excellent example of affordable and effective direct mail marketing campaigns.
Mis-Fortune Cookies (Hell Pizza)
We all love the fortune cookies that come with our food. Hell Pizza came up with an innovative idea of sending out ‘misfortune’ cookies. Instead of telling good fortune, there were funny yet darker messages inside those cookies.
The cookies are now available in all Hell Pizza stores, a testament to their popularity.
Stadium Shoe Box (Nike)
Nike came up with this enticing, message-oriented direct mail advertising. They sent out shoeboxes to encourage young persons to take up sports and athletics. There was a print of a stadium inside these limited edition boxes.
Moreover, when you opened the boxes, you could hear the roar of a crowd as well!
Tomato Splat (LavOnline)
Tomato Splat was an interesting campaign that brought attention to a laundry business. They cleverly identified their targeted users who didn’t use laundry services and sent out interactive direct mail.
When the advertisement was opened, it took the form of a white t-shirt. There was a tomato in the package as well, and the receivers were asked to “splat” it onto the t-shirt!
Build your own 3D Hologram Prism (Google Partners)
In this direct mail campaign, Google sent out instructions on assembling a holographic 3D prism. After building the prism, the users were asked to place the prism over their phones as they played a specific YouTube video.
There were hidden mobile tips within the video to help you update your phone! The video was watched and shared across several social media platforms!
We all have seen the beautiful, informative IKEA catalog. With the help of this piece of mail, the goal was to establish the catalog as “the most helpful book in the world”. Along with the catalog, the marketers sent out a helpful little measuring tape.
With creative helpful messages on the tape, IKEA encourages home-owners to use the beautiful tape to measure up for new furniture!
The Perry Process
This campaign from The Perry Process was meant to encourage various manufacturing industries to sell excess or unwanted equipment for cash. With the fake money along with a brochure telling the intended audience not to throw their money away, this campaign made the targeted companies sit up and notice!
The brochure could be used as a postal card, as well!
Trillion Dollar Mailer
The Trillion Dollar mailer got its name as the campaign used the Zimbabwean trillion dollar note to create awareness. The Zimbabwean Newspaper was forced into exile by the authorities and a 55% luxury import duty was levied on them that made the paper unaffordable.
The agency used the Zimbabwean trillion $ note, the powerful symbol of the country’s collapse, to highlight this issue. The useless note was turned into direct mail ideas and flyers by the agency, and thereby came in a horde of coverage!
Wvrst Sausage Party
For its grand opening, WVRST sent out polo necks shaped like sausages. Moreover, they were wrapped with butcher paper! These polo necks and their packaging was an instant hit amongst the bloggers and food-critics invited to the grand opening! The average response rate of the users increased!
San Jose Blood Bank
Simplicity always works its magic. On the search for new blood donors, the San Jose Blood Bank set out a stimulating direct promotion. Their paper ad was wrapped around newspapers and delivered to thousands of persons.
Along with a captivating message, there was an image of a person’s arm during a blood transfusion. A rewarding campaign indeed!
Schott Solar's 20 Year Warranty
All Schott Solar products come with a 20-year warranty. To make sure that everyone in the industry knew this, they sent warranty calendars for 20-years to leaders of the wholesale solar panel market. The calendar is 60-centimeter in length and definitely makes a mark on the minds!
Griffiths, Gibson, & Ramsay Productions
We all have memories involving record players. In this effective tactic, they sent out a record player to various agencies. It was made from cardboard and worked perfectly. Music to the ears, indeed!
This advertising campaign was highly successful & the targeted companies asked for extras from the company!
Planet Kids is a famous play school chain. They announced their Annual Day festivities by handing out invitations to kids in the form of hand-puppets. The students were excited about the Annual Day due to the hand-puppets invites. They successfully passed on this energy to their parents who showed up in hordes!
The Call of Sea
The Call of Sea is a very creative ad campaign. It is the perfect example of mixing technology with nature and producing something truly unforgettable. A tiny speaker inside the seashells played the recording of soothing, calming waves. A truly creative way to create awareness about a new tour operator!
ADT Security System: Box
This ad campaign may be slightly frightening but definitely catches the attention of the folks. The security company created a flat package that could be easily slipped under apartment doors. Once inside, it pops up and becomes a full-fledged box.
A box sitting inside your apartment, with a message that says “Breaking into your apartment is easier than you think”, will definitely get your brain a whirl! Perfect advert for a security company!
Companhia Athletica: Calendar
How many times have we vowed to be regular at the gym? Sometimes we are too lazy, and usually, the lack of results causes us to drop the gym membership. This ad tool is interesting as it helps to solve this problem.
In this campaign, funny wall calendars were handed out to the members. These calendars helped them visualize the process of becoming fit and losing weight.
ELMSTA 3000 Horror Fest: Zombie Panic!
We receive so many junk ads that we never go through all of them. This zombie film festival ad was covered all over in holes. Once you open the ad, you realize that the holes are bullet holes. There is a zombie inside, covered in bullets, except for the head – a message that says “aim for the head, don’t panic” definitely gets you laughing!
The Trojan Ball: NFL
The Trojan Ball was sent to high-level, influential CEOs and CMOs nationwide. The box is soccer-ball-shaped and the cryptic message on the top leads the receiver to believe that there is a brand-new soccer ball inside.
Once you open the box, American football along with printed stats that show the NFL is the audience’s favorite sport!
Amnesty International: Chopsticks
What do we usually eat with chopsticks? Chinese Food! This ad campaign put a clever, enticing twist on a very familiar item. Amnesty International gave out pencils shaped like chopsticks. Instead of the typical chopstick instructions, steps to stop human rights violations by the Chinese government were mentioned!
Enogarage: Wine glass invitation
To create an interactive campaign, you don’t need a huge budget, but rather a smart mind. This simple yet alluring wine mailer has a part that you can pull out. When you pull the piece up, the wine glass starts to fill up.
You definitely take a moment to admire the illusion as you play with the wine glass once or twice. It is highly likely that you will show it to other prospective customers in the room as well. Advertising mission accomplished!
Skoda Campaign Example
Skoda sent out coloured postcards and personalised postcards to highlight a new feature on their Yeti model. In the postcard, you can see a few cars parked in the front and a car at the back of the card. As the receiver, you have to remove the car present on the back and then park it at the designated address on the front.
Since the postcard had built-in magnets, the car slid in place automatically. A clever advertisement of their driver-assist feature!
Popup Closet - Levis
Think you don’t have enough closet space? We all do! Levi’s sent a foldable cardboard closet to the Editors of famous female-oriented magazines. A personalized letter accompanies the closet with the message that you no longer have to stuff your t-shirts in drawers with this secondary closet space in your hands!
Heat Magazine Ad Campaign
With a beautifully handwritten return envelope along with a handwritten note, this ad campaign for Heat Magazine was indeed a success. With a captivating message on the outer envelope, no one can resist opening a customized, handwritten letter addressed to you!
With a mysterious message from Julio, who is ardently missing his “Belle”, and several pictures, the promotional message for the mag will leave you with a smile on your face
Hodgins Engraving – Print is Dead Campaign
This ad campaign from a stationery and printing company business is indeed enrapturing. They sent out a 3D coffin, along with a glass and a few coasters. The 3D coffin depicts the death of old printing designs and techniques while the coasters demonstrate the new printing techniques and artistry of the company.
The apt slogan on the shot glass is pretty enchanting if you ask us!
Greenwich Pizza – Speaker Pizza Box
Is there a party at your place and you don’t have speakers? With Greenwich Pizza’s pizza speaker box, you are set! With two basic alterations of the cover of the box, the advertisers turned the box into audio speakers.
The rectangular incision houses your smartphone while the square incision amplifies the device’s audio! Pretty smart and innovative, right? Pizza and good music? Count us in!
Hoffmann & Winther
Hoffman and Winther were looking to intern at a creative agency, Jung von Matt. Since they couldn’t make it for the meeting, they created a “Sorry We Didn’t Show Up” clock to garner the attention of their potential employers.
How effective was this direct ad? Well, they got an appointment later, gave an interview & landed the internship!
Breaking Bad DVD Box
Breaking Bad DVD was set for release in Japan. To generate some buzz and create a hype around its release, the advertisers created a limited edition DVD box with the picture of Walter White, the main character. The top of the box was the iconic black hat of Walter White.
Simple yet brilliant!
Justin Poulsen Thumb USB Stick
Justin Poulsen, a famous photographer, has a diverse portfolio ranging from product photography to still life photography. In this campaign, he made a mold from the clay of his own thumb and then placed a USB inside the thumb and sent his portfolio to potential employers.
A thumb-drive shaped like a thumb? Perfect points for this attention-grabber!
Converse Mailer: Jeff Cummins
Jeff Cummins is a creative marketer who came up with this exciting mailer. Having recently relocated, he wanted to garner the attention of a few agencies, and with this mailer, he definitely did! He sent a rustic package with a pair of boots inside, with a message saying “Step One – Foot in the door” and a drawing of a boot.
The second boot had an enticing message as well. The shoebox contained the third message along with the lace of the boot. With an overwhelming response from the focus agencies, this ad campaign was indeed a success!
Ikea Pop Up Mailer
This is a wonderful example of quick-witted direct mail services. This is a simple pop-up flyer with an enticing message on the top. When you open it, the flyer turns into an enchanting 3-D view of your future bedroom, designed with IKEA products!
It shows how you can quickly decorate your home with IKEA furniture, which is easy-to-assemble.
The Office Turntable
Creative directors receive a lot of creative material and with competition getting tough in the music industry, it is hard to gain their attention. Kontor Records had to promote Boris Dlougosch’s latest track. Instead of sending out a CD like other musicians, they sent a vinyl.
Moreover, to operate this record, the music producers would need to scan a QR code with the help of their phones. Step One: Gain the attention of producers? Check!
Find your fortune
Another fortune cookie-based ad-campaign! Usually, when you open a fortune cookie, you find your fortune written on it. The idea is the same here – However, the enticing message says your future lies here! You are bound to open the mentioned URL and see what your fortune is!
Once you reach the URL, you will open a fortune cookie again to continue!
Hyper-personalized (faux) Event Posters
With the help of hyper-personalized event posters, the marketers engage with the current customers that have shown digital engagement and interest in your brand but have not made a move as yet. The posters feature the recipient’s name, company, position, location, etc. playfully displayed in the form of an event poster.
Along with the personalized poster is a personal letter that the recipients can relate to!
Casino Direct Mailer
In this smart campaign, Bodog, an online gambling giant, sent a mock wallet to the focus group with a $100 bill in the wallet. With every signup, they gave you $100 online that you could spend gambling.
However, with a mock $100 bill actually depicting this offer in your hand, you are more likely to use the services of Bodog! A clever campaign, indeed!
Cutlery Mail Campaign
In this campaign, the advertisers sent out basic items of cutlery – spoon, knife, and fork to the focus group. The items were sent over a period of three weeks. After that, they sent a luxury booklet poster for a small ad-company.
The idea was to send unique and cost-effective pieces of cutlery to build up to the idea of a luxury ad-agency.
This campaign was for an international design conference. The aim was to show how a simple item, of regular use, can be turned into something beautiful & extraordinary. The ad campaign sent out invites in the form of packaging tubes and the message on the tube showcased an alternative usage for it!
How many times have we used matchboxes? Countless, right? In this campaign, the matchbox came with a message on the top “You need a strike to ignite”. This was a clever play of words to demonstrate the importance of “spark” in your relationships! A witty campaign for a therapy service provider!
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a Chinese festival similar to Thanksgiving. This campaign was designed for the customer-base that stayed out late at night working instead of going home to their families. The pizza box came with a pizza-shaped CD with a short sound recording about working late and the importance of a family reunion!
We live in a digital world in which traditional mail has become neglected in the name of emails.
With the help of innovative and unique direct mail marketing, you can connect with the target audience and maximize your profits.