Cronin's Hulk Mailer Punches for Business

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Ad agency Cronin and Company Inc., Glastonbury, CT, is using an unusual mail piece to target managed-care companies in the Northeast for new business.

The package includes a motion-sensitive Hulk fist placed in a heavy stock piece that says, "Monstrous Impact," adding, "Learn how our expertise can help your healthcare organization break through to the next level."

"Why the Hulk? It's fun and interesting," said David Katz, vice president and managing director of the Cronin Direct unit. "Who doesn't know of the Hulk? It's also a mnemonic device to quantify the depth and breadth of our experience in the field."

The dimensional mailer not only conveys the agency's experience, it invites the recipient to call Katz or visit the site at

The tactic clearly stands out, packaged in a custom-designed wooden box with phrases and warning symbols stenciled on the exterior. A phrase on the top says, "What do you get when your marketing agency has enormous healthcare experience?"

Cronin already has gotten a call from one of the six prospects mailed on its list. The prospect's name is not being disclosed. Eighteen mail pieces will go through the fall to chief marketing officers and marketing decision makers in managed-care companies in upstate New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New England.

Katz will follow up each mail piece with a telephone call to prospects. The goal is to have a face-to-face meeting with the target and learn how Cronin can meet the prospect's specific needs.

"We want to build our client base based on the understanding we have of the managed-healthcare category," he said. "We have a good story to tell, and we think clients can benefit from our experiences and knowledge to build their business."

For nine years, Cronin has created advertising for TriZetto, a leading healthcare IT provider in Newport Beach, CA. Prospects who visit the agency's Web site in response to the Hulk mail piece can read case studies on Cronin's work for TriZetto and other clients.

This latest outreach to prospects is a first for Cronin. The agency typically sends less-customized mailers. Other new business efforts include calling prospects, e-mail marketing and public relations.

Founded in 1948, Cronin last year posted billings of $65 million from clients like Bertucci's, Connecticut Lottery, McDonald's Corp., Northeast Utilities, Jimmy Fund, International Aero Engines, Vytra Health Plans and Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration.

Even for an established, albeit small, agency, winning new business has become hard. Like its peers, Cronin distinguishes itself from bigger shops through specialization and talent. But Katz is aware of the key reality in capturing new clients.

"Numbers," he said. "The more leads, the more meetings, the more you close. It is a numbers game."

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