The last few months countless marketing and advertising magazines and publications have been talking about the come back of direct mail due to improvements in digital printing technology. To be honest, I have always been a fan of the mailbox as a medium. As with any marketing though, if you’re not going to put effort (and money) into standing out, doesn’t that just defeat the purpose?

Here’s an example of an excellent direct mail campaign that really worked. Tooheys Extra Dry Platinum recently promoted themselves via a ‘Platinum Testing Facility’ concept. It was based on the premise that if you were drinking Tooheys Extra Dry Platinum, then you should donate some of your DNA so your superior existence could be reproduced. They used a direct mailer to a database of young males which included a mini DNA testing kit (tweezers, swabs, sterile bag, etc.). The entire kit looked like it belonged in some medical lab, however still incorporated key brand cues. The campaign was further promoted via bar and club urinals, where glowing technology enabled urinal cakes to communicate the message ‘thankyou for your DNA sample, it is now being sent to our testing facility, come back and donate another sample soon’ when wet.

The concept really was excellent. No TV. No radio. No press. Completely new channels and approaches. It also communicated the product’s values – premium quality beer with higher alcohol percentage – for an exclusive drinker. There is no doubt that well thought out, novel direct mail, as part of an overall campaign message, can be highly effective.