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Mailbox Monday


After more than a few years in the business, we still find focus groups fun. First of all, there's that totally cool, almost sci-fi, one-way mirror. There are interesting group dynamics. There's a smooth-talking moderator. And, there are always M&Ms. But, most importantly, you get to see and here real people engage with the creative you've created.

Watching a focus group go through a direct mail package is an education unto itself. You may think you know how people open and read your mail. But, guess what, you're probably wrong.

Some people open the envelope and pull out item by item, reading each one in its turn. Some people pull everything out at once and lay it on the table in front of them. Some read whatever is most colorful. Others read the letter. Some people cut to the chase and go right to the response device.

We can't usually determine what a person will see and when they will see it. Unless ...

We use a format that can only be opened and read one way, revealing content in exactly the order we want.

That's just one reason we like using red-cross self-mailers. So too, apparently, does the agency working with Mike Bloomberg, former NYC mayor and billionaire presidential hopeful.

We received this piece over the weekend. A compact, 4" x 5.5" closed, it's printed on fairly heavy stock and you can feel that there are multiple pages inside.

The cover, a purple duotone with a photo of a white woman, reads "WE WANT ..." It's fugitive glued, but easy to open. Inside, is what the woman wants: "GUN SAFETY." Two quick lines of copy explain that Bloomberg has challenged the NRA in the past. The next closed panel, a black woman this time, but again demanding, "WE WANT ..." opens to reveal "QUALITY HEALTHCARE." Copy describes Bloomberg's New York healthcare achievements. Another panel with an Asian man opens to reveal "CLIMATE ACTION." The final panel, with a mother and child, opens to reveal "WORLD-CLASS SCHOOLS." Finally, the center of the now open cross simply reads "MIKE BLOOMBERG 2020" and "MIKE WILL GET IT DONE."

There's a lot going on here.

First of all, as we described earlier, there's only one way to open the piece. So, the messages are being revealed exactly the way someone wanted them to be.

The piece allows for diversity, and breaks the message into four equal parts, each focusing on an important part of the candidate's platform.

It's also nearly irresistible. You can't stop opening panels because of a simple thing called human curiosity.

Tomorrow's Super Tuesday, and we may or may not vote for Bloomberg.

That said, we do give this self-mailer our vote. A definitive thumbs up from the Bs.

Making a (Power) Point
Mailbox Monday

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