Direct mail was taken to a new level when Auckland marketing campaigners Mailshop sent breakfast trays to customers that included a printed piece of toast.

The Just for Starters pack — which won a Gold Medal in the Self Promotion Category of this year’s Pride In Print Awards — was the hero of the self-promotion campaign in which recipients received a personally-addressed box to peak the curiosity factor.

Upon opening they encountered their very own breakfast tray, personalised with their own fake newspaper (featuring them) and accompanying cereal, butter, jam and coffee cup. To further enhance the experience the toast was real Vogel’s bread (with “Mailshop” branded onto it) and the banana was a fresh mini Nino banana!

Recipients were directed to a personalised URL (PURL) with the invitation to enter a competition on line, offering a prize of a real breakfast at the Langham Hotel.

The germ of an eye-catching business-to-business mail campaign came when Mailshop moved premises last year and used the opportunity to refresh its visual identity through a logo rebrand. Dashwood Design worked with Mailshop and established a brand essence around the concept “no such thing as ordinary”. The change included a transformation of its website, a new business profile and new signage, stationery, email signatures and vehicles.

A campaign was then devised to showcase the capabilities of Mailshop’s latest Colour 1000 digital press, in particular the broad range of paper substrates and weights it could handle, and to demonstrate to clients what is creatively possible when utilising XMPie software, both online and in digital printing.

Mailshop Managing Director Deidre Ross says the desire was to surprise and delight clients and reinforce the “no such thing as ordinary” idea with a memorable cross-media DM campaign which recipients would want to keep and tell others about, creating conversations about Mailshop to their peers.

“The pack needed to be visually arresting with a high level of customisation and personalisation that would take clients’ breath away and showcase Mailshop’s prowess for detailed execution.

“Timing was critical to heighten the unveiling experience. As a result each pack was hand delivered to companies’ receptions as early as possible prior to 10.30am,” she says.

“The PURL was intended to be a quick and easy experience, a fun extension of the Direct Pack that enabled people to enter the draw and be re-introduced to Mailshop’s broader capabilities. This was subtlety referred to in the breakfast spread. No explanation was given but that did not stop 40% of recipients visiting it and as a result receiving an entry into the draw to win breakfast and a spa for two at the Langham hotel.

“Each pack had a lotto ticket nested into the mini newspaper. The ticket was an important part of the experience as the personalised newspaper showed the recipient being the Lotto ticket winner! It got people involved, they had to go and check it out – anything but ordinary!”

Recipients were high-value Mailshop clients, 120 in total. The mix was advertising agencies and direct marketing clients, chosen due to their activity in the creative direct marketing space.

The campaign resulted in comments such as: “WOW — what an amazing DM I received from Mailshop. Have been so impressed I’ve been showing everyone in the office. It’s great to see such innovation and something tangible in this eWorld we are now living in.”; “Got my awesome breakfast DM box yesterday! Everyone is talking about it around the office. Quick question, is the lotto ticket real?”; and “Thanks for the personalised breakfast box, fabulous! I love the newspaper and especially the lotto ticket inside!! Very clever!! I’ve just entered the draw, fingers crossed!”

Ms Ross says the campaign ignited many client conversations about what is really possible in the DM space and how the latest technology can deliver a more impacting experience that drives results.

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