Oversized Postcards Have Been Around for Years

I saw Otis Maxwell’s letter to the editor about the use of oversize cards in the July 26 issue. Our agency used them in the 1960s for impact announcements to specific audiences, and I’m sure we didn’t create the format. They were especially successful in textbook promotions where college and university teachers were asked if they’d like to see a forthcoming text upon publication. Some months later, when the book was actually printed, we would send an oversize card with a big, “THE TEXT YOU’VE BEEN WAITING TO SEE IS ON ITS WAY!”

Since they probably asked to see a dozen different texts, this let us give a quick highlights review to remind them of why they’d asked for it and build anticipation for our title. Giving credit where it’s due, the format was suggested by our creative director, Jack Heimerdinger, who’s still creating at [email protected] He also was the first one I know of who had us use oversize black envelopes to get attention. That worked, too.

A somewhat different oversize card format was featured in the first edition of my “Do-it-Yourself Advertising & Promotion,” published in 1993, and is still in the third edition published last year. I suspect the oversize card was invented about 10 minutes after the creation of the post office. As one of my very first teachers of advertising said, “Whatever everyone else is doing, always test something different.” Test, not just do.

So what else is new?

Fred Hahn, [email protected]

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