'No Tears' Campaign Has SuperStock Smiling

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Response to a marketing campaign by stock photography supplier SuperStock with the theme of "art without tears" has company management laughing all the way to the bank.

"Our account executives said people have been calling like crazy since the card hit," said Beth Hinckley, vice president of marketing. "We've had to reprint our art catalogs because we've gone through them so fast.

"We've sent out catalogs and CDs before, but there's nothing quite as effective as direct mail. I think they like to hear the message that it's easy - that they don't have to call the museum or Picasso's grandchildren. Direct mail is a quick way to get that message across and motivate them to do something."

The campaign seeks to show graphic artists and designers at advertising agencies, design firms and publishing companies how easy it is to acquire fine art images for reproduction in printed materials.

The first 6-inch by 9-inch postcard in the campaign mailed last month to the company's house file, which numbers less than 100,000. It featured a picture of Vincent Van Gogh crying, with the headline "Weep no More." The copy goes on to explain that no additional permission is required to use 99 percent of SuperStock's Art Images collection. It then concludes: "Renoir, yes. Red Tape, no."

SuperStock, Jacksonville, FL, is printing additional postcards for monthly mailings to the house file and for possible use in prospecting campaigns. The company also is supplying its sales force greeting cards, door hangers and other collateral materials that illustrate how art can be used in humorous ways. Print ads in trade publications will begin in January.

Customers are instructed to call a toll-free number or visit the Web site to order catalogs or compact discs.

The campaign also is meant to help SuperStock re-brand its collection of classic art under the Art Images name. Formerly called The Fine Art Collection, the catalog includes 60,000 works from 5,000 artists, including masters such as Michelangelo and Monet and respected contemporary artists.

The company offers two other categories of images: The Portfolio Collection of Contemporary Photography, and Vintage and Historical Images.

The company recently mailed a trifold prospecting piece promoting a catalog of contemporary images that it will issue in January. SuperStock sent the piece to 50,000 names that were rented from subscriber lists of professional designer publications.

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