Whatever happened to fun direct mail? At Two Lizards we yearn for the kind of direct mail that makes you really enjoy opening the envelope, combining really creative design and copy to make you smile. Yet the sheer dullness of most business or consumer direct marketing (and regardless of whether you are in the office or at home, an awful lot of it is financial or IT/telephony) makes us fear for its future.
So we were heartened to read about Ikea’s ‘Everyone is a designer’ direct mail campaign. In the Netherlands, Ikea’s products are popular but not always seen as fashionable. Ikea asked MEC Active Engagement to create a campaign that would debunk the power of the ‘trendy designer’ and give ordinary people the feeling that, with Ikea, they too could create fashionable interiors.
The campaign kicked off with the mailing of millions of ‘designer glasses’ and MEC invited people to take photos of themselves wearing them, staged a ‘demonstration’ in Amsterdam where people proclaimed their right to ‘design their own life’, decorated statues with the fake glasses and generally had a load of … fun!
Was it a success? Of course. Tapping into current events (love the demo idea!), going effortlessly viral, the campaign increased spontaneous brand awareness and generated a huge amount of precisely the right kind of PR.
Fun is such a powerful driver in all our lives. But when even the clumsiest slapstick clip on YouTube gets millions of hits in a matter of days, when you can get emailed the same joke from three friends on the same day, why are we so reluctant to use humour in advertising and marketing?
A friend this morning said ‘I just can’t face the news. It’s just one awful doomy headline after another’. In this ‘fun vacuum’ any idea that lifts the mood has a good chance of a warm reception. By being in touch with the mood of the nation (and the entire world, come to that), tapping into our universal love of dressing up and larking about, Ikea have achieved something that no quantity of earnest, benefit-driven propositions could have achieved.
At Two Lizards we love direct mail and have found that lightening up can achieve great results. For an example of our own use of fun in a direct marketing campaign, take a look at our work for MarketingRadar. And if you have a direct marketing nut to crack, we would love to discuss it with you. Simply email us or call 01403 751 585.