Alvar Jaakson and Leslie Laasner from the creative agency Utopia discuss the role of classic advertising channels in a digitalising world. At the end of last year, they were faced with the challenge of making an ad for a classic advertising channel. Omniva’s direct mail campaign combined different media and the outstanding creative design attracted attention both online and on paper. How was this challenge approached and why was this solution chosen?

What is the role and image of traditional advertising channels in the digital age?

Sometimes, in the rapidly digitalising world, physical and perhaps already kind of vintage media can have a huge impact. It kind of resembles the return of vinyl records, or the fact that paper newspapers are not disappearing as quickly as was predicted in the early days of the internet revolution. Physical direct mail is rather rare and therefore an interesting way to shake things up. After all, it is just a medium like any other and it all depends on the idea and the context. So far, we have been used to seeing direct mail through the lens of advertising flyers, but if you do something with a bit of imagination, it will be noticed and not confused with junk mail.

How to make good advertising?

Good direct mail is no different from good advertising. You need to understand who you are talking to and find the right angle to speak to them. Then, you need to come up with an unexpected creative solution that catches the eye and is memorable. Once you have a catchy initial idea, it is easy to adapt it to different media – whether it is a direct mail piece, a banner, or, why not, a video. In the case of direct mail, it helps to think about the medium more broadly than as simply text and images printed on paper. There are so many more possibilities, from special printed pieces to all sorts of items that can fit in the letterbox. Direct mail is a classic: new media are coming, electronic media are taking over, but traditional channels remain. They have a role to play and a specific target audience that is good to reach through this channel.

How did you come up with the idea for the Client Iistvuud (Eastwood) direct mail campaign?

In this case, the idea started with a simple play on words, which often becomes the focal point of a larger idea. Playing with puns in marketing is so 2018, but sometimes you can forgive a few individual findings and make an exception if it carries a broader idea somehow. This idea immediately received very positive recognition in social media groups and, as you can see, led to a surge in business. In that sense, is a win-win situation. The Client Iistvuud (Eastwood) campaign has received a lot of attention and positive feedback in several social media groups. In addition, the number of enquiries has increased exponentially after the direct mail posting, which suggests that the advertisement has resonated with potential customers and generated interest both in the direct mail channel and online.

This article is a collaboration between Omniva and Utopia.