Make Direct Mail Cool Again

Even in the digital age, it’s not a bad idea to get back to our roots with a direct mail campaign. Direct mail provides an opportunity for visual and tactile creativity that no digital advertising can provide, since a mailer is a physical item that people can interact with.One of the main goals of direct mail is to make the recipient interact with the mailer for more than just a few seconds. That said, your direct mail must not only look cool, but have a strategic goal behind it—like any other advertising venture, it’s unwise to get wrapped up in the creative side of things without crafting a plan for maximum ROI.

One of the main goals of direct mail is to make the recipient interact with the mailer for more than just a few seconds. That said, your direct mail must not only look cool, but have a strategic goal behind it—like any other advertising venture, it’s unwise to get wrapped up in the creative side of things without crafting a plan for maximum ROI.

Here are some examples of direct mailers that checked all of the boxes for cool, creative and effective.

Zimbabwean Direct Mail Image

After the Zimbabwean newspaper was forced into exile and hit with a 55 percent luxury import duty, it became inaccessible for Zimbabweans. TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris raised awareness of the issue with an eloquent symbol—the Z $ trillion note, made worthless as a result of hyperinflation but still perfectly useful as an eye-catching direct mailer. The resulting campaign is a clever, resourceful and poignant example of “the medium is the message.”

The Natural History Museum needed to produce a cost-effective direct mail piece that would raise awareness of the talks at the Darwin Centre. The eraser, produced as direct mail by Hat-Trick Design, provides a tangible visual that literally places the issue of extinction in the recipient’s hands.

CEO Lights Mailer Candle

To encourage corporate CEOs to shut down all the lights in their buildings for a single hour, WWF sent these candle mailers to their offices. As the yellow candle is removed from the office-shaped box, the “windows” go dark. The visual message is brilliantly simple and well-executed. Corporate support reportedly increased by 260 percent following the release of this mailer.

Gibson Direct Mail Sample

Griffiths, Gibson and Ramsay Productions created a working record player out of cardboard to promote their sound production services to various agencies. The mailer ships flat, holds the record and folds into place in one step. At first glance, this mailer seems like a lot of effort for little return, but it was apparently so impactful that the agencies who received it called GGRP to ask for extras to bring home to their kids.

Planet Kids Direct Mail Sample

Happy Creative Services created an invite for Planet Kids to announce their Annual Day celebrations. The invite folds into a whimsical hand puppet and was given to parents through their students. This is a great example of a direct mailer that’s cost effective, but still engaging and interactive.

Great Copy Mailer

While this mailer for Sprig isn’t particularly interactive, it offers an example of great copy. The visual is clear and inviting, while the centerpiece is a focused statement which sums up the service in just one sentence: “Simple, organic, ready-to-eat meals in just 15 minutes.” Recipients will understand the company’s features and core values in a matter of seconds—and when it comes to direct mail, a few seconds can make a big difference.

Not to toot our own horn, but here’s a few examples of AcrobatAnt direct mailers that also hit the mark. Send us an email or give us a call to learn more about our direct mail expertise.

Sonic Franchise Direct Mail

Parallon Trade Show Direct Mail

Sheridan Healthcare Direct Mail

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising 
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Thank you to our sources who found some excellent examples:
https://www.dandad.org/en/d-ad-direct-mail-award-winning-work/

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Content Remains King

shutterstock_248890441Content. The little seven letter word that everyone is talking about. And you should be, too. In this age of marketing, content is paramount. What is content? Content is anything you put out that people engage with. Articles, blogs, social posts, radio, TV, online advertising, anything and everything.

When you begin to think about a new campaign, you have to think about the new campaign as an ecosystem. This ecosystem contains all the ways you plan to reach potential customers or clients. As the marketer, you must have a strong content ecosystem.

Today’s content ecosystems look vastly different than content ecosystems even just a few years ago. Today’s content ecosystems are filled with social media, blogs, sponsored posts, advertorials, print, broadcast and pretty much any other way you can put your advertising in front of people.

While content is important, it’s imperative to produce content that connects to your audience. This is how you secure your customers. It’s not always about creating content yourself, but curating the best content available.

With traditional advertising mediums like broadcast, print, etc., once you distribute the content, there’s nothing left to do but count impressions. With digital, there is a constant flow of content. If there is an article or blog written about your industry, leverage that and share it with your followers. If someone produced a fancy video of your product, leverage it. If someone wrote a great review, share it. Content curation will save you many hours of producing your own content and help you keep the cycle moving forward.

In this day, content is critical to driving brand awareness and giving your customers a reason for sticking with you. And at AcrobatAnt, we believe in great content. We are here to help your marketing department create and curate the best content that delivers results you can take to the CEO.

Super Bust: Ads that fell flat

There are always a few people at every Super Bowl party that only come to watch the ads. Unfortunately for them, there wasn’t much to watch in between timeouts. Even though 30-second spots cost a whopping $5 million, there seemed to be more duds and misfires compared to years past.

Granted, some companies still delivered when it counted, Doritos. But there were no dancing babies, not many talking animals and not a lot of LOL moments in the pack.  There was a puppy-monkey-baby, but that thing was by no means “cute”. It was scary.

Instead of picking our what commercials we all seemed to like, this year the Ants are highlighting four commercials we could barely sit through. One thing we all learned this year, besides that Hyundai makes some cool cars, is that even when you spend $5 million on airtime, you still have to budget for creative. So spend wisely!

4. Sofi: Loans for Great People.

super bowl blog 4After this spot aired, who else looked around the watch party and considered which people were great or not? Then immediately suggested to the list of “un-great” people that it might be their time to leave, because there’s only room for on the couch for greatness.

3. Heinz: Meet the Ketchups.

super bowl blog 3This one had all the makings of a great commercial. Wiener dogs dressed like hot dogs, a cute kid and people in funny costumes, but nothing happened. No dog tripped and caused all the others to fall, the Ketchups just stood and waited. Nothing happened. We expected the Ketchups to end up on the ground, covered in adorable wiener dogs, but no. Luckily we have the Internet. Surely we can find what we’re looking for there.

2. Doritos: Doritos Dogs.

super bowl blog 2Doritos Ultrasound was top notch. However, their second ad stunk like a wet dog. Dogs want Doritos, but they can’t enter the store because of some dog-hating manager. So, what do the dogs do? They all stand on each other and walk in disguised as a human. Oh, how original! Nobody has ever used that trick before. Hey, at least there were dogs.

1. Xifaxan: GutGuy.

super bowl blog 1Ah yes, just what everyone was thinking, “Why hasn’t there been an ad about controlling bowel movements yet?” Actually, no. No one said that, or possibly has ever said that. This ad was the biggest stinker of the bunch. As soon as the turtle-looking lower intestine came on the screen, everyone at your watch party suddenly needed to know the score of the Puppy Bowl (Team Ruff won by the way). Valeant, the company behind the drug Xifaxan, should have crumpled this one up and flushed it down the toilet.

Well, that’s it. Another year of, for the most part, disappointing Super Bowl commercials are behind us. Let’s hope that Super Bowl commercials return to their former glory next year, otherwise what are all the non-sports fans going to watch? Let us know which ads were your favorites and which ones you thought were duds in the commercials.

Mobile is key.

shutterstock_169100729

You’ve probably heard it before time and time again, mobile advertising is the hot trend right now. But mobile is more than a trend, it is here to stay. This year looks to be a breakout year for mobile advertising and for a good reason. “Consumers today are addicted to instant gratification and ads need to serve up not only what they’re trying to sell, but the benefits as well,” said Tamara Green, AcrobatAnt Media Director. As mobile advertising has matured, so have the data companies. From precise geo-location data to more refined demographics, consumer data collected through mobile advertising is robust.

In order to be successful with mobile advertising, you have to deliver memorable content. “You have little time on mobile and an even greater challenge to gain the consumer’s attention because consumers are easily distracted as they swipe across to the next image/page/comment/post/status/etc.,” Tamara said. In mobile advertising, you have less than five seconds to capture the consumer’s attention. Meaning that creativity in message delivery is more important than ever. A simple banner ad will no longer sustain the results they used to. Advertising content needs to be dynamic, personal, engaging and customized for the target audience. It needs to look like it was made just for that single consumer.

With Facebook video now dominating the newsfeed, it’s time to really consider spending the money to integrate video content into a campaign. Integrating video is also one of the keys with mobile. There isn’t just one media type to satisfy the needs of a brand. It needs to be a well planned mix of all mobile has to offer based on data that has been collected. Paying more attention to data will guide and help a campaign improve over time. Tamara added, “Consumers are more and more demanding that the click takes them somewhere, tells them something, provides some benefit. A click with no benefit, just content will result in the consumer dropping off and possibly passing you by.”

To learn more about how we can help you, or if you have any questions regarding mobile advertising, send us an email or give us a call.

10 Best Practices on How to Talk to Your Agency

When it comes to talking and dealing with your creative agency, there are a few tips that help get the most out of your partnership that you may not know, especially if you’ve never worked with an agency before. We polled our office and got some good feedback on how best to talk and deal with an agency. Hopefully these tips will help next time you and your agency hit the roadblock. (In no particular order)

1. Understanding the problemshutterstock_258823979

Allow us to do that. You may want to try and define the problem yourself, but including your agency in that process can be very beneficial. The more information we have about your brand and your goals, the better equipped we will be to offer valuable input and produce something that delivers the results you want.

2. Include as much information as possibleshutterstock_261566594

The more information the client can give to the agency at the beginning of the project, the better. Sometimes knowing what you don’t want is just as helpful as knowing what you do want. Provide all input/assets at the start of a project. Often, changing direction or new information mid-project causes the scope and budget to change.

3. Be transparentshutterstock_164665187

With transparency, time is used effectively and problems or issues are defused. It allows for the relationship to be authentic, in which trust is created, and the client and agency can work in harmony. There is a mutual respect in what the client brings and what the agency brings in the relationship.

4. Give good feedbackshutterstock_228790603

Client feedback is crucial to the creative process. Before providing feedback, gather a full consensus from your team so everyone is on the same page with any design or copy edits. This will save time and production costs in the long-run.

5. Be concise shutterstock_256115929

The more concise you can be, the more likely the agency won’t miss something. Use bullets to organize content so it’s easy to make sure things aren’t missed. Writing one long paragraph may lead to items being missed.

6. Be clear about requirements, optional items and wish list itemsshutterstock_161233412

Be very clear about what is required and how success will be measured. Separately, indicate wish list items and optional items—if we know the ultimate wish list, we can try to achieve it. Itemizing must-have and “nice-to-haves” is a good way to give the creative folks freedom while making them aware of what would exceed expectations.

7. Remain present and engaged in conversationsshutterstock_254080660

Remain present and actively engaged in the conversation, whether it’s in person or on the phone. Remove distractions and be open and honest, both in listening and communicating with the agency. If you are demonstrating that you are making the project a priority, the agency will too. Direct and honest feedback is the best way to communicate.

8. Give accurate and achievable deadlinesshutterstock_184538510

In order to do the best work possible, the agency needs deadlines that can be met while maintaining internal agency processes that are in the place to ensure the best product from the agency. There are times when rushing something is unavoidable, but with proper planning and preparation, clients should be able to provide the agency with the time necessary to develop great work. Rush deadlines should be the exception, not the rule.

9. Know what your objective isshutterstock_277496639

What are you looking to accomplish? Are we driving traffic to a website or event? If not, what is it you want to happen? This is very important information to provide when it comes to creating a campaign that is not only creative, but also effectively meets your needs and produces the results you were expecting.

10. Be clear on what not to includeshutterstock_107966306

If competitors use certain elements in their branding, pass that information along to the agency. If there are certain themes or colors to steer clear of because of industry connotations or CEO preference, it is better to know upfront rather than to find out after the first design options have been developed.

Let us know in the comments if you have any other best practices when it comes to communicating with creative agencies. 

Was $4.5 million worth 30 seconds at the Super Bowl?

The last minute of this year’s Super Bowl was amazing, but what about this year’s ads? There are mixed reviews. Some people say they were weak, while others believe it was a good change of pace. But we aren’t here to weigh in on whether the ads were good or not, but rather was the money spent advertising worth it. And it was a lot this year. The cost of a 30 second spot was $4.5 million, up from last year. And $9 million for a 60 second.

Which got us thinking, excluding production costs, which can run upwards of $1 million, how many products would Super Bowl advertisers have to sell to cover the cost of airtime?

We worked out the numbers for some of the advertisers and found out that they would have to move a lot of units to cover the airtime. Check it out for yourself.

Superbowl3

Take the mask off.

 

There’s usually more to a logo than meets the eye. And we’re going to help reveal the meaning on some of the best designed and most well thought out logos out there. Each logo below has a hidden message. Enjoy the up-close-and-personal look at these world-renowned logos.

 

 

FedEx-Express

Most people probably already know about the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo, but did you know that when FedEx was presented with the logo, the agency chose not to tell the FedEx executives it was there. Luckily, one of the spotted it and it was chosen as the winning logo. Go figure.

 

 

logo_amazon

Amazon’s logo actually has two meaning to it, not only does the logo have a great smile, but the arrow points from A to Z. highlighting the fact that Amazon carries a wide variety of products. And the smile is just not for a happy logo, but represents their great customer service.

 

 

baskin-robbins-logo

Baskin Robbins’ hidden feature isn’t actually all that hidden. The pink parts of the BR in the middle make out the number of flavors they have. And if you don’t know, it’s 31. That’s a pretty impressive amount of flavors.

 

 

goodwill-logo

Goodwill’s logo may look like a Lego head, but it’s more than that. It is actually a big G. Which the g is taken from the Goodwill text at the bottom of the logo.

 

 

LSO-Logo-1024x682

The London Symphony Orchestra logo might be one amazing organic-looking brush stroke, but it is so much more. Not only does the line spell out LSO, but it also looks like an orchestra conductor. You might have to look at it for a few. Start from the outside and work your way in.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Research first. Post second.

Anyone who writes social media was reminded of a good rule yesterday when DiGiorno Pizza used a hashtag that they shouldn’t have. And that rule is do your research before using a hashtag that may seem good for your brand, but turns out it isn’t.  Here is the tweet in question:

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 2.30.04 PM

 

 

 

 

If you are not aware, the #WhyIStayed hashtag is used for domestic-violence victims to speak out and tell their stories, not for pizza companies to promote pizza. It’s unfortunate that the person who posted it did not research before posting. The person that posted the now infamous tweet spent the next few hours apologizing on Twitter to people that were offended.

So, what’s your take. Honest mistake or just a brand going too far?

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Back to Basics: Pick the right medium.

Marshall McLuhan famously said, “The medium is the message.” But what exactly did he mean? Well, we won’t get into that today; however, the quote lends itself to advertising quite well. Because the medium you end up using dictates your message.

Whether you are using billboards, radio, television, print or online, each one is good for different types of messages. The following is a best-use list of which medium is best for what messaging.

BlogPost_4_CS

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Back to Basics: Say This, Not That.

Have you ever heard of the abbreviation KISS (keep it simple stupid)? Because that should be the golden rule when you write. Keep the language simple and tailored to your audience.

When a patient picks up a doctor’s rack card, he or she should be able to read every word on the card and understand it. If they can’t, then you aren’t sticking to the golden rule.

We have a list of buzzwords or jargon that we try not to use when writing for our clients. But we’ve picked our favorite, or most hated, buzzwords to stop using. We also translated them into plain English. Let us know what you think in the comments.

Blog_sayThis

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912