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Direct Mail Still Works Say USPS

We may be living in the digital age, but the U.S. Postal Service would like to remind you that direct mail campaigns still work. In order to prove their point, they created the Marketing Achievement in Innovation and Leadership (MAIL) Award, solicited nominees through Deliver magazine and chose a winner.

That winner was branding agency Mlicki, and they won for their Blue Octo campaign which had a 10% response rate.

The Blue Octo is a line of waste-water pumps and these guys managed to make it look cool and exciting. Their mailer looked like a classified dossier with reports and photos about sightings of a mysterious Blue Octo creature.

Mlicki creative director John Randle told Deliver;

It was intended “to showcase the first ‘photographic evidence’ of the Blue Octo’s recent movements obtained by G.R.A.N.D.(Gorman-Rupp Advanced Nature Detectives).  We wanted recipients to question the authenticity of it in a ‘wait, is this real?’ sort of way, to get them involved in the rest of the story.”

Now, I do love the US Postal Service, they did save Santa Claus that one time, and they bring me freebies and coupons. I also believe that direct mail does work, especially in the case of local service and B2B. However, I’m not sure that the success of the Blu Octo campaign can be attributed to the mail service alone.

The agency also created an excellent digital campaign which included fun videos of Blu Octo spottings, plus a Facebook and Twitter page. It’s likely that the combination of direct and digital did the trick, but the topper on this cake is the creativity. These guys came up with a story and they followed through in all aspects of the delivery. The hunt for a mysterious swamp monster to sell pumps? It really is brilliant.

  • http://alissajean.com Alissa Schafer

    Great article, and again, you are right on! I think direct mail was one part of what looks like a really sweet multi-faceted campaign.
    Also, can’t help but think that the USPS would have a tad of bias in this issue… ;-)