Reimagining Classic ideas with modern takes

In our digital age of eblasts, wall posts, pins, upvotes, likes, check-ins, keywords, tweets and retweets, it’s often easy to forget, or even dismiss, the classic tools of marketing. Sometimes the seed of your next great campaign lies in an idea so basic that you have been blinded by its simplicity. All the idea needs is a little tweaking or updating to make it relevant and successful again.

Take for example this June 2012 Canadian Porsche dealership direct mail campaign. The core of the campaign was simple, find a target audience and deliver a direct mail advertisement for the new 911 Carrara S sports car. This idea of a direct mailer is common practice for almost every automobile dealership that has ever existed since the invention of the moveable type printing press (well maybe not that far back). Everyone can clearly remember receiving monthly direct mail pieces from local dealers simply because they test drove one car, one time, some years back. But this campaign was different and more successful than the standard practice of blanketing mailboxes of potential leads because of the way the marketing team reimagined its execution.

The agency reengineered its approach of the traditional direct mail piece to create what it called “The world’s first instant direct mail piece.” This creative team took the classic and rather routine idea of the personalized direct mail piece one step further. After identifying several affluent target neighborhoods, the team proceeded to park a brand new 911 in the driveways of select homes in the area and photograph them. The agency then took those images and printed them into a direct mail piece with the tag line “It’s closer than you think.” These pieces were then hand delivered to the doors of each home. Recipients were presented with the irresistible imagery of a dream car right in their driveway and were directed to a specially created website where they could book an appointment for a test drive. The campaign generated an impressive 32 percent engagement response; impressive for a marketing tool that most people simply ignore and drop into the circular filing cabinet.

Now, I am not suggesting that for your next great marketing campaign you hit the streets with your camera and printer in hand. I am not even suggesting that direct mail is right for your business or company. What I am suggesting is that perhaps in all the clutter of digital campaigns we may have overlooked something fundamental that could be picked up, dusted off and reexamined for its value.

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