The Calgary Marketer

Updates, commentary & more about marketing from Art Graddon


There’s just something about great direct mail

Direct mail is about response and results, right? So it should be pretty hardcore when it comes to blasting out an offer and a call-to-action, shouldn’t it? It’s not truly a medium that can nurture great creative ideas, now is it?

I just love it when a direct mail campaign just beautifully nails an objective in a way that is clever, relevant and elegantly crafted. Practically perfect in every way, Mary Poppins would say.

Seeing as Mary was a Brit, she’d no doubt have loved this award-winning effort on behalf of the Kit Kat Chunky bar created by JWT in London, England.

The challenge was to introduce the new Chunky version of the Kit Kat bar in a way that would catch attention and inspire trial. This is usually a task left to the wide reach and impact of television. But JWT had an idea that would make adding direct mail to the mix a strategically brilliant move.

They had an “aha” when they remembered that Royal Mail (the U.K.’s Canada Post) would leave a card when they could not deliver a package because it was too big to fit into the recipient’s mailbox (“letterbox” in the U.K.). So they designed a personally addressed postcard that mimicked the “Sorry we couldn’t deliver” cards left by Royal Mail.

The card announced that the packet was too “chunky” for their letterbox. It invited the recipient to pick it up free at their nearest news agent (kind of like our convenience stores). Personalization was used to assign the recipient’s address to a nearby retailer.

Did it work? Reportedly 87% of the recipients collected a free Kit Kat Chunky. That’s a stunning wow.

If you like hearing about inspiring direct mail campaigns like this one, you might want to request a subscription to Canada Post’s quarterly “Incite” magazine. Beautifully produced, it features great direct mail campaigns from all around the world. You can browse through past issues on SlideShare at these links:

Incite Volume 2

Incite Volume 3

Incite Volume 4

Incite Volume 5

Incite Volume 6

Incite Volume 7

Incite Volume 8

Incite Volume 9