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Creative campaigns from DS Graphics, Sambazon, Webby Awards

DS Graphics

DS Graphics wanted to establish itself as more than just a printer and let prospective clients know about its entire portfolio of cost-saving printing services.

DS Graphics worked with North Star Marketing on a dimensional direct mail campaign that invited prospects to a 20-minute webinar to hear what DS Graphics could do to save them money.

“We came up with three campaigns hoping they were going to pick one,” said April Williams, president of North Star.

DS Graphics wound up using all three ideas and sending one or more to each prospect on its list, which was composed of both the internal house file and sourced leads. A total of 212 recipients have received the pieces since January. The campaign is ongoing.

One mailer, designed to look like a boombox, had an iPod Nano inside. It used the tagline, “Today, technology helps shrink everything. And that includes the cost of your printed materials.” Webinar attendees received a $50 iTunes gift card.

The second piece included a wine-bottle opener offering a wine-of-the-month subscription for attendees. The third focused on relaxation and gave attendees a $500 weekend package at the New England Inn.

Seventy-eight of the 212 recipients attended the webinar, a 37% response rate. “DS Graphics was willing to spend time researching the right list, and they were willing to spend more dollars per drop than most people,” Williams said.
—Kevin McKeefery


Advertising and marketing agency Mutt Industries launched an online campaign August 5 for Sambazon, an açaí production company. The website features a video highlighting “Sambazon Warriors” wearing custom headdresses to reflect each warrior’s passion. Using Facebook and other social networks, the site invites the public to “Warrior Up” and “Join the Tribe” of do-gooders, and to create a headdress of their own while pledging their passion for doing good.

Facebook users have created 700 headdresses so far. The campaign has received 2 million total impressions.
—Janice Malkotsis

The Webby Awards

The Webby Awards enlisted Tribal DDB Worldwide to design the look and feel of its 14th annual award show in June. The agency redesigned the Webby People’s Voice awards, emphasizing the competition element by calling it “The Battle for Web Supremacy.” The effort, hosted on the AOL network of sites, included banner ads for each unique AOL site. EastMedia was the website developer.

The People’s Voice campaign garnered a record-inducing 900,299 votes, three times last year’s count; 218,707 unique registrations; and 1 million-plus site visits. Social media drove 10% of the traffic.
—Rose Gordon


Robin Reardon, president and creative director, Creative Realities

DS Graphics’ three promotional package concepts were creative and sure to hit the target’s sweet spot — every executive dreams of a spa package! Though I covet another iPod, it strikes me that the promotional message is at odds with the marketing message. When the core message of the optimization platform is time and money savings, asking people to commit to a 20-minute webinar seems an odd way to sell me on the concept of time savings.

Every brand and designer struggles to find brand imagery that won’t antagonize some sector of the audience. The broader a brand’s reach, the tougher it gets. In the case of  Sambazon, the depiction of the warrior as an environmental/social/political freedom fighter lost me. A dictionary definition refers to a warrior as a fighter for the ruling class who is more associated with protesting the status quo. In this case the beautiful, glossy execution of the campaign might be able to overcome any internal conflicts with the campaign imagery.

The Webby Awards’ successful voting results (measured in quantity of votes, not for target of voting) confirm that the Internet is as much about what you can avoid as what you can find. By aligning nomination categories with AOL user-site preferences, the campaign leveraged the core strength of the Internet as the supreme direct marketing tool. Perhaps more basic, the partnership with AOL as the platform for distribution was as strategically important as the strength of the creative.

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