Campaign Sells the Appeal of a Captive Audience

Repetition generates dollars. That's the thinking at Captivate Network, which began a direct mail campaign that will ultimately send six direct mail pieces over 12 weeks to prospects and current customers.

Captivate Network, which delivers content and advertising to video screens in office building elevators, is dropping 5,500 to 6,000 pieces for each of the six mailings through early September.

Mailing multiple pieces to a single customer or prospect has proven successful for Captivate Network in the past. One reason why, said Nancy Jackson, vice president of marketing and programming, is that the Westford, MA-based company uses simple pieces.

“These are not heavy and elaborate mail pieces,” she said. “They are quick hits, have a humorous tone to them and all tie into the key benefit message.”

Recipients will receive all six mailings even if they respond to the first piece, Jackson said, since the pieces taken together paint a more complete picture of Captivate and its benefits.

“Explaining the value proposition around our product takes a while to explain,” she said. “The whole story is told through the six pieces.”

The goal of the campaign is two-pronged.

“First, we want to raise awareness within our prospects and remain in front of our current customers,” she said. “Second, we want to educate and communicate the value proposition of Captivate to our target audience.”

Potential and current advertisers are being targeted, though the focus will be on prospects. Advertising agencies also will receive the pieces. Among advertisers, it is sending the pieces to product managers, directors of marketing and vice presidents of sales within those companies. Positions targeted at agencies include buyers, planners and account supervisors.

Jackson said Captivate reaches a range of companies with its marketing but tends to focus on large national companies.

The mail pieces are oversized postcards measuring 8 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches. One of the cards reads: “You see a TV screen in an elevator. We see a media network that reaches 3.6 million affluent viewers.” Another reads: “No matter how they commute to work, they all end up riding in the same car.”

The back of the postcards display images of people looking at the screens while riding the elevator. The text discusses the benefits of Captivate and provides statistics on the amount of people it can reach and how many times a day those potential customers are in an elevator. The cards include the company's Web address,, and a toll-free number as response mechanisms.

Captivate also began sending e-mails to 2,000 of the mailer recipients for whom it had e-mail addresses. Like the direct mail, the e-mails will go out every two weeks.

“We are using the e-mail to inform them with news about what we are doing and the deals we are making,” Jackson said. “The direct mail piece is used more to promote what we do and who we are. The direct mail piece is the fun part of the campaign, and the e-mail is the hard news portion of it.”

Jackson would not discuss the cost of the campaign but said based on the amount of time the campaign will run and the number of mailings that will be distributed throughout it that it will be one of their larger efforts.

Most of the work on the campaign was done in-house though it did work with Visual Republique, Boston, on some portions.

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