A direct marketing campaign combining traditional printing techniques and media skills has led to an entry in this year’s Pride In Print awards.Jono Ashman, creative director at Wellington brand agency Totem Communications, says that each year the company hosts a Christmas party for its valued clients and business partners. Last Christmas, Totem created a two-tiered invitation, which commenced when the recipient received an embossed, foiled and bound book containing a short detective story. Also inside the book was web site information, a special code and a miniature bottle of 42 Below Vodka concealed in a die-cut.
The book’s author wrote each guest personally into the story as a detective tracking a mysterious event being held somewhere in downtown Wellington. On receipt of the invitation, the guest logged onto the web site, entered an individual code, which activated an animated newspaper with their name written into the headline and opening paragraph, along with rsvp details.
The invitation received a 76 per cent response rate within four days of despatch. Ashman says, “We have created a variety of direct marketing campaigns that make use of both printed and online mediums. What stood out in this job was extending the impact that data-merging can bring to direct marketing. Instead of simply adding a recipient’s name in the title of the piece, we integrated their name throughout the story and online interaction.”
Crafting the job required a diverse group of suppliers working in a short time frame. Ashman says, “Cass Hesom-Williams from Splendid wrote the detective story; DPod Digital Print data-merged and digitally-printed the pages; Die Cutting Services diecut the hole for the miniature vodka bottle and Tim Garmonsway from Bookbinding Etc collated, embossed, foiled and expertly-bound each invitation.
“It is very important to us that we produce every job, big or small, to the highest standards. It doesn’t matter how great our idea is, if it isn’t executed well the whole job suffers. To that end we have developed strong relationships with range of quality local suppliers. Each supplier we worked with on this job has proven themselves on various projects in the past. Working with them as team members always extends our ideas into something special.
Ashman now looks forward to seeing how the job fares at this year’s Pride In Print Awards, which are being held at the Wellington Convention Centre on Friday May 8. He says, “Totem hasn’t been a regular entrant in Pride In Print to date. We now recognise that the Awards are a perfect vehicle to acknowledge the quality of our valued production partners and to reinforce the craft we strive for in every job we produce.”
The quality of jobs guarantees more work for New Zealand printers. Ashman concludes, “I have always found New Zealand’s print industry to be passionate, innovative and detail-focused. Having print-managed jobs in other countries, I consider our print industry one of the highest in craft and creativity. With that in mind I wouldn't consider sending a job like our invite overseas.”