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Creative mailshots make an impact – insights into the Caples Award 2012

January 22, 2013

Mailshots are the future! Especially creative mailshots. Many of the jurors from the Caples Award 2012 have returned to their advertising agencies after taking this on board. Mailshots have often been written off – as the Internet, e-mail and smartphones revolutionise our world of communication – and yet mailshots are still a powerful and particularly successful element of modern dialogue marketing. But why is that? Quite simple: they have become more advanced. And they being used in a more targeted manner. For example, as direct drive-to-web or in smaller numbers to previously well-defined target group profiles.

Certainly in the age of Facebook and Twitter, mailshots no longer play a dominant role when choosing a dialogue channel, but bold and creative mailshots do pay off. Not only are they winning awards, but above all gaining the favour of potential and existing customers. This has once again been impressively demonstrated by the response numbers and results of the winning mailshot at the Caples Awards 2012 in New York.

The Caples Award is one of the most renowned and important creative awards in international dialogue marketing. Furthermore, it enjoys the reputation of being a reliable measure of trends and the acceptance of new communication channels. Its 26 categories cover all important communication channels in dialogue marketing – starting with mailshots, through to mobile apps and social media, right up to integrated campaigns.

A clear trend towards a particular communication channel which all agencies and companies are latching onto – as with social media – has not emerged this year. Admittedly, social media continue to maintain a high level of importance, but one factor, which had been pushed into the background in recent years by big budgets and lavish productions, has increasingly moved back into focus: creativity. True creativity. No matter whether on- or offline.

For me personally, three projects still stand out in my memory, in which a small campaign concealed a really big idea, with just as great an impact. Firstly the VIP Fridge Magnet by Red Tomato Pizza. It is quite amazing how you can win so many new customers and increase sales with a low budget, a small, exclusive gadget and a mobile phone.

Secondly Bring Your Own Cup Day by 7-Eleven. I like the courage of the company in allowing its 150,000 Facebook friends to dictate the cup size for one of the most popular ice drinks for one day. Although it was quite clear what would happen.

And thirdly, a mailshot covering a topic which is becoming an increasing problem across the globe: Pencil Case by Chill Out e.V. I can well imagine that this mailshot from Germany would not fail to generate its desired effect in the same form across the globe. Because it is so simple, surprising and evocative at the same time, no more words are needed to illicit a reaction.

Courage is needed for real creativity to have its effect. The courage of the advertising agencies to present creative solutions. And even more courage from the companies to implement these creative solutions. There have been several workshops and discussions on this topic which have given me courage.

My conclusion about the 35th Caples Award: thanks to intelligently connected communication channels, target groups can be addressed in an even more targeted and clever way with integrated dialogue marketing. And in that context mailshots play an increasingly important role – be it as an individual medium, as a connection to the digital world or as an initial spark for a complete dialogue marketing campaign.

I am excited about what the year 2013 will bring in the way of great, international dialogue marketing and would be glad to be targeted myself at some point. Maybe even by you, dear reader.

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