VDP effort gets personal
Volvo wanted to promote special offers in the Northeast on several models during March, built around Volvo’s new branding tagline “Get2Gether With A Volvo.” Given the softness in the automotive market currently, Volvo was also looking to stand out.
The car company’s previous direct mail efforts consisted of “a lot of sell sheets in a large package and there was nothing unique in the way the message was delivered,” says Denis Sovik, partner at The Ready Group.
Pembroke, MA-based The Ready Group, which specializes in variable data printing, promoted the idea of doing a region-wide VDP campaign.
“From a technical view, this is one of the most variable pieces the automotive industry has ever done,” Sovik says.
A total of 14 fields on each piece of mail were personalized, using the Konica Minolta bizhub PRO C6500. These included different offers and prices based on whether the recipient was a current Volvo owner or not. Each offer featured a sticky note plugging the Volvo dealership closest to the recipient. A personalized URL was used to pre-qualify customers and start a dialogue with the dealer. A total of 465,626 pieces were mailed in eight states, with half of the mail going to Volvo owners.
The creative highlighted a series of photos of people engaged in various activities, from the 1960s to now. The photos showed how Volvo cars looked through the years and local landmarks specific to the recipient’s region.
The response rate was 4.5% and 18% of respondents owned a make of car other than a Volvo. -Chantal Todé
Orange juice maker presses forward with blog
Approach: On a limited budget, Florida’s Natural orange juice wanted to differentiate itself from competitors that import their fruit. It paired with ad agency 22squared to develop The Orange Diaries blog, where Farmer Dave asked: “What should really be done with imported oranges?” Rich media banner ads embedded with videos of Farmer Dave promoted the blog.
Results: The campaign had twice the sales of past efforts. -Mary Elizabeth Hurn
For catalog, size does matter
Approach: Consumer and small business printer VistaPrint launched a catalog two years ago to drive Web sales. As production costs rose, the firm redesigned the book, settling on a 5.375 inch by 8.25 inch catalog, down from 8.5 inches by 11 inches. This spring, the new catalog went out to 200,000 small businesses that had ordered from the company in the past six months.
Results: The response rate was up 2%; the conversion rate up 4.75%. -Nathan Golia
David Sylvestre, group creative director, Organic, Toronto
The Volvo pURL experience is effective only in that it serves up price and dealer info for you. But, this campaign is a mixed bag. Recipients might be intrigued by seeing the content of their own personal site. But most would be alarmed to see their name and ZIP code drawn from a database for a marketing campaign. The “personal page” images come from a cookie-cutter template, so the effect is very impersonal.
Rising citrus prices have led competitors of Florida’s Natural to purchase crops from overseas. The juice maker brings a primary point of differentiation — 100% domestically grown fruit — to a folksy site that blends appeals to patriotism with the well-worn shtick of viral avatar technology. The site interface, videos and avatars have a homegrown look that support the site’s key message — “Orange juice should never be imported.” The experience is earnest, and there’s enough tongue-in-cheek humor to keep things from getting too stuffy — it’s a win.
The new VistaPrint catalog is a significant improvement over the old model. The samples shown — brochures, business cards and pens — give a quick overview of their business and the breadth of their offering. It’s easy to scan at a glance, and what they sell is obvious. Two things were done well: One, it uses eye-catching numbers on the cover (17 FREE offers). Two, the calls to action pop, as does the exhortation to save the catalog.