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Here's an oldie but a goodie. 

We're posting some not-so-recent work for two reasons: (1) Nothing worth writing about arrived in the mail this week and (2) the Queen B has kept these postcards for about five years. Now, that says something!

This postcard series uses VDP (variable data printing) to grab the recipient's attention. In each case, the person's name (spelled correctly, thank you very much) becomes the hero, integrated into the major graphic of the card. So we received an individualized highway sign, a vanity license plate, and a variation of the iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign.

We joke about the correct spelling, but in a campaign like this, it is absolutely crucial that you have an accurate list with full names and great confidence that they are right. In fact, you're netter off not using personalization than using personalization that's wrong.

After a fairly high-impact, individualized experience on the fronts of the postcards, the backs were a little disappointing. Each one was virtually the same. A personalized headline was followed by quick copy and bullet points. The advertiser, GMC Software Technology, didn't carry the concepts over. A bit of copy alluding to each of the different images would have been welcomed. Maybe a pun in the headline or a payoff that talked about "the signs are clear," "You can personalize direct mail faster than ever before," or "Your luck's about to change."

Another area for improvement was the offer. We were driven to a website and a local phone number in order to "Get the full story." (Sorry, but ... b-o-r-i-n-g.) We would have suggested adding a personalized tchotchke or something that tied into each image. How about a drawing for a trip to Vegas? A test drive in a classic car? Or a portable GPS system? 

One last note is that each card arrived scuffed and/or smeared. Bummer, since recipients would be likely to post the card in their office.

Even though we don't think the card series quite lived up to its potential, we still have to applaud the creative use of digital imaging and individualization. 

The B's at B Direct give the campaign a belated thumbs-up.

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