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CREATIVE STRATEGY: Direct mail roars back to life for Porsche

Is direct mail dead? Well, rumours of its demise are somewhat exaggerated in my world.

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Financial services advertisers in particular have not fallen out of love with 3D print even as they’ve embraced all things digital.

Recently, I’ve been working on the launch of a new suite of credit cards. I know! It’s just like the ‘80s. Except without the shoulder-pads.  

Direct mail is at the heart of the media strategy. No doubt this will come as welcome news to the Royal Mail’s new agency venture, MarketReach.

So in mass market financial services, the belief is that direct mail still has a role in ‘building volume’.  

As the digerati moved in, other commentators also pointed out that well-targeted direct mail would hold its own on briefs for high-ticket items, like sports cars.

Take this piece from a Canadian agency. They shot a Porsche in the drives of the minted and used the images to create individual leaflets they could send to the target audience.

It may not be a wholly original idea and the "It's closer than you think" clunks, but the combination of localism, personalisation and digital printing is indeed potent.

I’ve never driven a Porsche, but my first experience as a passenger still sticks in my mind. My then art director had an Alpine white 911. "There’s a radio", he said, "but I don’t use it much.  This is why..." He turned the key and the engine roared into life. That howling, growling soundtrack is all one requires.

Does the Canadian mailing live up to that experience? Not really. But it does tap into Porsche’s innate appeal to those who desire a fast and fancy imported automobile. Long live direct mail.

Simon S Kershaw is a creative consultant and a former creative director at Craik Jones

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