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It was Kermit the Frog who originally said, "It's not that easy being green."

According to a current direct mail package, the people at Discover respectfully disagree. The Bs recently received a solicitation from the credit card company that absolutely reeked of greenness. In fact, the number 10 window envelope wasn't merely green, it was shiny green metallic with a 3D effect, looking something like a 1970s Christmas gift. Which, in truth, was appropriate, given that it arrived during the holiday season and had to stand out among actual greeting cards of various shapes, sizes and color. Not to mention dozens of other credit card pieces.

And, it certainly stood out.

In addition to its distinct color and sheen, the outer envelope had all the usual teaser trapping we typically find (and sometimes design ourselves) on these kind of packages:

No Annual Fee
0% Intro APR.  |   $0 Intro Balance Transfer Fee
Cashback Match
5% Cash Back
FICO Credit Score for Free
New! Social Security Number Alerts

(Phew!) On both front and back, we were invited to "See details inside."

Intrigued by the green, if not the standard promotional copy, we complied.

Inside we found a personalized buckslip that served as the address mechanism through the window, as well as wrapping the other enclosures and allowing for smooth insertion. It was ... as you've probably guessed ... green. The promotional offers were repeated again, as well as an overall satisfaction rating and four quick testimonial quotes.

The letter, which was personalized with first name only, picked up the green but used it sparingly (thank you). A nice graphic sidebar depicted the card and highlighted the offers again. Although we would suggest adding a Johnson Box (what can we say, we're DM purists), Discover gets credit for including an individual signature (rather than "Your friends at Discover") and a brief P.S. directing the recipient to an enclosed Comparison Chart. The back of the letter included a personalized application and "Important Information" (rates and fees, etc.).

We were a bit concerned that the app might get lost behind the letter, but recognized the production efficiency in this set-up. It would be interesting to test this against a separate app and an app that extended down off the letter.

The aforementioned Comparison Chart again used the green, in this case to emphasize all of the features and benefits available with the Discover card (and not with the four other cards listed). Here, as on other components, an image of the card itself added branding and an almost-tangible reminder of the product being advertised. The back of the Comparison Chart was used efficiently for Terms and Conditions. The final insert was a postage-paid BRE.

As a creative team, the Bs often try to deconstruct finished pieces, imagining the strategy and the development process. Here. it seems as though there was nothing new to say — at this point, the credit card market tends to comprise parity products and offers.  Branding the (green) Discover card may have been the inspiration behind the bright green package. (Maybe.) Or, tying in to the holiday season. (Possibly.) Or, someone may have done some research and learned that Discover Bank was originally the Greenwood Trust Company. (Not very likely.)

At the end of the day, the challenge was to get noticed and the campaign succeeded at that particular objective in a big green way.

The Bs (and Kermit) give the package a thumbs-up.




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