One of the world’s largest technology companies used direct mail to invoke a powerful response

Posted on Sept. 21, 2015 by @canadapostcorp in Marketing solutions

Background

BBDO and Microsoft wanted to make marketers aware of the need to catch up with the digital revolution and new technologies which were already fully embraced by their customers. They wanted marketers to come to BBDO Connect, a series of 3 seminars designed to educate and inspire marketers with the possibilities.

Idea

The idea started with the insight that if marketers were not using new technologies, it was because their outdated marketing handbooks did not discuss them. So what was the point of keeping those old books if they were so useless? 2,000 pages of old marketing textbooks were ripped out and each was overprinted with an invitation to innovation. Each mailing comprised two pages from a forgotten book, making it clear there were new technologies and new ideas to be discovered at the BBDO Connect event.

Results

No fewer than 311 of Belgium’s leading marketers registered for BBDO Connect – a 30% increase in response compared to other BBDO seminar email invitations.

Insight

It’s because we still hold a symbolic value to books that the random destruction of them is shocking. To shred a book as BBDO did seems not just uncivilized but an attack on knowledge itself. And that is what makes this a powerful piece of communication. Because, when you pause to think, it’s nonsense to imagine that all books are valuable. The old rules of marketing have been completely superseded and it is true to say that most consumers are further ahead of the curve than the marketers trying to talk to them. This is quite a complicated story to tell, but this invitation does it with deceptive simplicity.

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