Creative campaigns from Cinnabon, The Room Place and Progress Energy


Bakery chain Cinnabon wanted to increase brand awareness, increase order size and drive store visitation in shopping mall locations during the 2008 holiday season.

Cinnabon teamed up with Money Mailer Direct Marketing for a direct mail campaign in which it sent a targeted mail piece to small businesses within a two-mile radius of each Cinnabon mall location. The campaign featured 11- by 15-inch glossy mail pieces that included 20 perforated offers. The idea was these businesses would post this coupon page in the office for employees to use while doing their holiday shopping at the mall.

By targeting small businesses with these perforated coupon pages, Cinnabon hoped to reach more people for less money than sending individual coupons to homes.

Businesses with five to 49 employees were targeted.

Despite a slower holiday shopping season than usual, Cinnabon saw a 54% return on its investment and a 4.6% redemption rate for the coupons. Cinnabon plans to use the same approach during the 2009 holiday season.
-Dianna Dilworth

The RoomPlace

The RoomPlace, a furniture store, tapped interactive marketing agency The Usman Group to increase in-store sales throughout its 22 Illinois and Indiana locations and grow its e-mail list and brand awareness. A paid search, SEO and e-mail campaign was implemented over the course of an initial six-week period last year. Keyword performance was monitored daily to ensure conversion and position.

New customer acquisitions increased 63% and the furniture retailer received 2,192 e-mail sign-ups. The RoomPlace reported a 637% ROI.
-Cara Wood

Progress Energy

Progress Energy used direct mail to encourage its customers to sign up to receive bills online last summer. Using predictive modeling techniques, the campaign targeted customers most likely to decide to receive bills electronically. Some customers received a letter describing the benefits of receiving bills online, while others were enticed with a charitable contribution in their name to an environmental organization.

The number of customers using e-billing increased over 200% and response behavior of the two segments was as predicted.
Kevin McKeefery


Will Payovich
Director of creative services, Euro RSCG Chicago

In the land of recession, the coupon is king. Cinnabon had a very smart idea to direct this holiday self-mailer to small businesses. You can easily see this piece adorning bulletin boards in countless break rooms. I might add one very high-value coupon in the middle or on the bottom lower right. Once people see that first coupon torn out, it’s like a green light to take the next one. I’m sure the brand police are dying a little on the inside at the sight of all the bright color clashes, jumble of typefaces and the not-quite-right product shot. A good coupon is rarely pretty — but that’s the beauty of it.

Direct marketing has always been a blend of art and science. This online campaign for The RoomPlace is one case where art takes a back seat to the more impressive science of keyword bidding, paid search, testing and search engine optimization. The creative here doesn’t help or hinder, but simply prods consumers to connect the dots on the way to a sale.

Fortunately for Progress Energy, it appears that many customers could see past the irony of receiving a paper letter to encourage paperless billing to save paper. Less is more with these communications. Simplify the copy (don’t forget to proofread!), and add a strong “p.s.”

If you’re serious about being eco-friendly; reduce the ink. There’s certainly no need for four-color printing here. I might also try a half-page letter to underscore the commitment to saving paper and the environment.

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