Infinity Direct knew it would need to concoct a seriously imaginative self-promotional campaign to engage hard-to-impress marketers. So the direct marketing agency created an integrated effort around a fictitious possessor of marketing magic named Dr. Garmont. The talented doctor would first appear in a mailer, but not a mailer that could be swiftly set aside.
“You cannot just send a postcard. That is not going to cut it for that kind of audience — you need to do something unusual,” says Victoria Wise, director of marketing at the Plymouth, Minn.–based shop. “We knew whatever we did had to be clever without being cheesy and it had to be multidimensional both in the execution of the mailing piece but also in the depth of the program.”
The mailer, which directs recipients to a PURL, was designed for maximum intrigue, inside and out. The paper piece arrives in a clear envelope, is cut into the shape of an old apothecary bag, measures 11.5 inches by 9 inches when folded, and features raised spot UV varnish for texture.
When the card is opened, up pop cutouts of a container and four bottles. Copy explains they are filled with potions and potables for such marketing maladies as Irritable Data Syndrome and Budgetary Constriction. “We wanted to make [the piece] more interactive, make it into your space,” says agency creative director Scott Kennedy.
Adding dimension certainly has the power to elevate an experience, which is likely the reason 3-D is being used in various ways in mobile applications and on movie screens, televisions and even billboards. It’s so pervasive, in fact, that much like the ’20s, ’50s and ’80s, the present is another heyday for 3-D, says Paulo Aur, chief operating officer at American Paper Optics, a manufacturer of 3-D products in Bartlett, Tenn.
Aur, whose company has produced mailers with 3-D glasses for clients as varied as large corporations, small law firms and universities, says those kinds of campaigns are an effective way for companies to market and differentiate themselves. “For a little additional cost, you get a high-impact, interactive direct mail piece,” Aur says. “If I sent you five direct mail pieces and one had 3-D, which one would you think would stand out?”
Thinking about a 3-D Direct Mail Campaign?
Marketers interested in 3-D can use the tools in a variety of ways, from offering coupons to driving targets online. One Texas university, for example, sent a mailer with 3-D glasses and 3-D images — of happy students and the school’s mascot — to prospective applicants. It featured a URL where recipients could watch a video about campus life in 3-D.
But if you’re considering incorporating 3-D in a future campaign, there are some tips to keep in mind. For one, it’s important to consider whether the tactic will complement the effort’s tone and message. “[3-D] is somewhat fun, and so if something you’re talking about can’t be taken that way or can’t be perceived that way, it’s probably not a good medium to use,” says Jaycen Thorgeirson, founder of UVIAUS in Phoenix, an agency that specializes in 3-D solutions.
Likewise, while complexity adds to the allure of 3-D efforts, it also makes it essential to work with vendors who understand how to produce and mail the pieces. For instance, multiple issues can arise when creating lenticulars and the 3-D image might end up looking distorted, says Barry Johnson, president of PACUR, an Oshkosh, Wis.–based company that sells lenticular sheets to printers. “It’s not an easy medium to print,” he says. “You need to work with a printer who has printed lenticular before – that’s a must.”
Infinity Direct sought advice from a local printer and a die cutter when creating its “Dr. Garmont Magical Marketing Mailer,” and Wise says the timing of that collaboration is important. “Engage your experts early on, way back at the concepting stage, not once you’ve come up with an idea and you’re all in love with it because it might not be possible,” she says.
Of course, marketers will likely pay a premium for using 3-D; Infinity Direct’s pieces cost $13.08 per unit, for example. But 17.24% of the mailer’s 1,500 targets visited the PURL, a response Wise and Kennedy don’t think a flat piece could have achieved. Likewise, the multichannel campaign that ran for four months beginning in September 2011 ultimately garnered new business — and was even named one of the first runners-up for the 2012 Deliver M.A.I.L. Award. Wise says, “This one was a winner for us all the way around.”Creativity, Dimensional Mail, Technology, Trends