Tetra Pak’s Refreshingly Targeted Direct Marketing

Client: Tetra Pak UK
Agency: gyro Manchester
Stimulate trials of Tetra Pak’s new ergonomically designed screw-cap and carton by putting the physical product directly in the hands of prospects

The Back Story: It’s the age-old question: A brand has a handy new product, but what can it do to get its foot in the proverbial door with potential customers?

That was the issue facing packaging company Tetra Pak UK after its release of the Tetra Prisma Aseptic DreamCap, a new carton form factor with a specially designed, easily resealable plastic cap. Tetra Pak predicted that its product would be of great interest to brands and retailers who might use the new DreamCap carton to distribute their own products—the challenge was opening the dialogue between those prospects and the Tetra Pak sales team.

In the past Tetra Pak salespeople would drop off a pallet of product samples at a target company’s reception desk with the hope that they would somehow find their way onto people’s desks and, ultimately, lead to some face time.

“In most cases clients did get to see the product—but they didn’t get a personalized message—and it’s the message that they really need to help them understand the products and buy in to what Tetra Pak is trying to do,” says Nicky Cook, group account director at gyro Manchester, the agency responsible for an outreach campaign that combined direct mail (DM) and interactive digital elements to pique interest in the DreamCap.

“You can’t really understand the benefits of the product without context, without physically experiencing it,” Cook says, adding that getting prospects to take a sip from the DreamCap “was vital to the success of this piece.”

The Strategy: A key objective in the brief from Tetra Pak was to stimulate trials of the DreamCap—and the gyro team quickly realized that personalized direct mail would be the perfect solution.

“Direct mail is [a] strong medium for telling a story, for getting a product right in front of a customer,” says Peter Davis, executive creative director at gyro Manchester. “But for us it was also about being human and relevant, and creating an interactive experience in a way that felt personal.”

First, gyro segmented the target audience into two groups (brands and retailers), and then further by category; for example, breakfast, health, juice, milk, sports, water, etc. Next was to craft individualized messages that would be relevant to each. The boxed mailers were also personalized to include the recipient’s name.

Each box contained three pieces with Alice in Wonderland-inspired verbiage: A drinkable Tetra Pak filled with real juice and “Drink Me” printed on it; a second version of the container with a mock-up of a brand’s own product and logo printed on it accompanied by “Inspire Me;” and last, a three-panel leaflet—“Read Me”—containing personalized information about how Tetra Pak’s DreamCap solution could benefit that specific brand or business.

The leaflets outlined the basics, and recipients were encouraged to go online and view hypervideo content on the Tetra Pak website—with annotated YouTube links within the video—to learn more about the product. Tetra Pak supported the video with flash banners and homepage takeovers across the family of Tetra Pak global websites.

“The point is exploration,” Davis says. “From ‘Drink Me’ to ‘Hold Me’—we covered all the aspects of the experience.” The multiplatform approach ensured that the direct mail piece itself wasn’t overloaded with information that might be too much to digest all at once.

“We didn’t want to hit [prospects] with a long, printed generic list of all the benefits, not all of which would be relevant to them—by the time they’d finally get to the ones that’d be interesting for them, they’d already have completely lost the will to live,” Cook jokes. “The DM piece focused on creating the initial intrigue, that first important connection, and the digital bit allowed people to investigate the benefits that were specifically relevant to them.”

The Results: Fifty-three percent of those who received the DreamCap package signed up for meetings with a Tetra Pak sales representative—the highest response rate in Tetra Pak history. Numerous CPG giants are all in discussions to start using the DreamCap product across their range of drink categories.

Recipients spent an average of three and a half minutes engaging with the campaign’s associated online content—roughly double the website’s average visit duration.

At the European Tetra Pak conference, the piece was also touted as a best practice example for other Tetra Pak regional marketing departments and their agencies to emulate. Subsequent to the campaign’s success, there’s been interest from the Japanese, U.S., and other branches of Tetra Pak in rolling out their own versions.

The Takeaway: Thoughtful targeting always wins the day. Feedback from recipients of Tetra Pak’s mailer was that its high level of personalization was both compelling and rather touching, Cook says. “It made them feel special,” she says. “It made them feel like this could really be the right product for them,” she says.

More important, personalization paved the way for sales calls.

“They felt an affiliation to Tetra Pak and were more open to having a conversation, versus in the past when it was a struggle to get past the gatekeepers and schedule sales meetings,” Cook says. “But [this time] they remembered the DM piece and that’s what gave Tetra Pak a comfortable in.”

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