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Mailbox Monday


In Hollywood, actors are warned never to share their screentime with children or animals. Small or cute (or small and cute) will steal the show every time.

How fortunate then for marketers like the folks at Their products not only can but should be promoted using the cutest pets they can find. Like the two adorable pups on their recent self-mailer.

The three-panel, barrel-fold arrived in the mail and immediately stood out, thanks to its bright colors, animated typography, and — yes — the baby bulldog. You can't miss who the card is from; "" appears prominently on both the address and art sides of the closed piece. There's also quite a lot of promotional copy; in fact, there's a little too much to absorb.

LIMITED TIME OFFER! $15 OFF your next pet food & supplies order of $49 or more*
Plus, FREE 1-2 day shipping!

There's a checkout code (included on both sides) and a teaser line near the address that encourages us to "SHOP OVER 1,000 BRANDS OF PET FOOD & SUPPLES!" All the caps and exclamation points would bother us if the type itself weren't so playful.

What did bother us, though, was the asterisk after the offer. Although we're often forced to include legal copy and disclaimers, asterisks or footnotes — especially on the cover — knock a lot of the wind out of special offers. Recipients tend to worry about what you haven't told them.

Inside, the layout does a cute trick. When the final panel is closed, it looks like there's a happy dog sitting in a box. When it's open, the same dog is sitting among some of the company's bestselling products. We're told that we'll find prices we'll love on over 1,000 top brands. And, within that final unfolded reveal, there's a tipped-on card that acts as a coupon. On the back of the card, we finally get the disclaimer that the offer can only be applied once, even if you get it in email as well. The checkout code is repeated, and there's an 800-number for questions.

Were we to redesign this mailer, we would tone down the type a bit. We would include a bit of body copy along with all the EXCLAMATIONS! And, we would offer a design solution that used even more dogs. With 6-10 or more different (adorable) breeds represented, there would be agreater chance to showing exactly the breed owned (and loved) by the pet owner who receives the mailer.

After all, most people may like dogs, but they love their own dog.

Then again, the package does have some essential things going for it. After all, it's bold and bright, and includes one (albeit caveated) offer and two dogs.

We can't help it. The Bs at B Direct give this a paws up.



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