As we continue to slide though 2018 at break-neck speed, creative direct marketing has been leaving its mark on the world like never before. Direct mail has been experiencing something of a renaissance with the introduction of JICMail working to standardise audience data for the first time, assisting brands with up-to-date media planning and making up ground lost to other channels. Also, with an estimated 65% of addressed direct mail being opened and studied in 2018 according to JIC, it’s clear to see that there’s still life in this traditional marketing technique, and that just can’t be ignored.
If there’s one thing that direct marketing offers a campaign – that isn’t comparable with other techniques – its longevity. The DMA and JIC estimate that 27% of direct mail remains “live” within a household for 28 day or more, making it one of the most cost-effective ways to maintain a sustained connection with your audience, particularly when used in conjunction with other marketing channels such as email, social media and dedicated events.
As a result, we’ve been looking into some of the finest direct marketing campaigns from recent months, and what a year it’s been so far. From Marmite DNA testing kits to beautifully crafted African nesting dolls that carry a serious and thought provoking message. Creative direct marketing is proving to be worth its weight in gold (not that we ever doubted it!).
Marmite – The Gene Project
We all know that Marmite has long been a Great British staple, but it’s also widely known that you either love it or hate it… there doesn’t seem to be an in-between. Given that trend, Marmite decided there must be something in your genes that means you either love or loathe the yeasty creation. As a result, The Gene Project was born and genuine scientific research was carried out to determine if our tastes are predisposed as well as if two “lovers” can produce a “hater”. The opportunity to acquire a DNA testing kit which could lay any doubts you have to rest.
This cross-channel project has been shortlisted for numerous awards, and the ingenuity of the campaign saw interactions and sales increase by 14%, making it one of the company’s most successful campaigns. The kits are still available to buy if you need to find out which side of the fence you truly sit on.
ZAZi – Know Your Strength Campaign
ZAZi is a South African-based charity which was created by women to support other women who have been victims of abuse. They also offer advice on contraception, HIV and how to live positively. The direct marketing campaign used five beautifully handcrafted African nesting dolls, each of which represented a woman at a different stage in her life: as a five-year-old, a schoolgirl, a young woman, a pregnant woman and a working woman.
There was a poem for the campaign, with a stanza written on each of the dolls. The dolls were not for sale, but were passed around from one female influencer to another, as the organisation believes: “South African women deserve an equal opportunity to interact with the dolls and selling them would limit the journey”.
The dolls were passed on to some of the greatest female influencers in South Africa, from actresses to TV presenters and some of the biggest names in radio. Using social media to also raise awareness, it was estimated that the ZAZi message reached almost 5 million people across the country, cementing their place at the forefront of women’s advocacy.
Interreligious Council In Bosnia And Herzegovina – One Book For Peace
A bold statement to make, the One Book For Peace campaign was created to address the fact that religious differences are still at the root of many conflicts around the world. The idea of this direct marketing campaign was to create a book that unites the Christian and Muslim faiths to spread the message of peace. It used passages from both the Bible and the Quran next to each other to demonstrate how similar the messages are. The objective was to bring the two faiths together and start a positive conversation.
The book was sent to many influential leaders around the world – both religious and political – including Donald Trump and Pope Francis. The book was then debuted on primetime TV via the Al-Jazeera network, encouraging people to order their own copy. The ad seemed to strike a chord – over a million views of the Youtube video have been noted and the whole project has received over 53 million unique digital media impressions across the globe.
Greenpeace – To The Last Tree Standing
There’s a good chance you’re aware of the game Minecraft, if you aren’t familiar it’s highly likely your children will be. A stylised simulation game, it offered the perfect design platform for Greenpeace to raise awareness of the desperate situation that had arisen in the Bialowieza Forest of Poland.
As Europe’s last lowland primeval forest and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was at serious risk from illegal logging. In response, Greenpeace created a piece of direct marketing like no other. Working with the creators of the original Minecraft game, they produced over 700 square kilometres of the forest with over 7 million trees using topographical models and scale to ratio imagery, mapping the forest as it stood. The result were a fantastic, virtual reality in which anyone interested could experience what the forest was like.
Unsurprisingly, the map was a hit with Poland’s gaming community; including major gaming celebrities, streamers and other influencers who were all willing to share in their game play.
But that’s where the “fun” started. Once the map had hit peak popularity, Greenpeace suddenly switched it out for an alternative version which illustrated the forest as a barren wasteland, where all the trees had been cut down – apart from one.
It was an unprecedented win for Greenpeace, the logging ceased and the Polish Minister of Environment was subsequently fired for not working harder to make the logging stop in the first place.