REAL WORLD MARKETING

Miscellaneous observations from an educational communicator’s perspective

Truth in packaging. Recently, I received an intriguingly bulky envelope in the mail that aroused my curiosity. I opened it and was disappointed to find a square of bubble wrap—the cause of the bulkiness—“protecting” a letter that was a sales pitch for a financial institution. Although the package’s shape persuaded me to open it, I did not appreciate being tricked into expecting something more. Perhaps this approach will garner some interest in the short term, but a marketing strategy that relies on trickery can only backfire over the long haul by making a company seem untrustworthy. We prefer envelopes that honestly entice us to investigate further. The envelopes we designed for the University of Baltimore did just that.

Clever copy draws attention and encourages a closer look. We can’t measure the exact impact of these envelopes, but we know that actual applications more than doubled projections.

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