MEDIA CHOICE: POSTCARDS

It is perhaps inevitable that the postcard has become assimilated into the modern marketing armoury. Everyone is doing it: shops, movies, brands - even the Gatwick Express.

It is perhaps inevitable that the postcard has become assimilated

into the modern marketing armoury. Everyone is doing it: shops, movies,

brands - even the Gatwick Express.



They all love it because it is as direct as direct marketing can get,

but, and here is the real stroke of genius, you get consumers not only

to contribute to the cost of the campaign but also take responsibility

for targeting and distribution.



And the amazing thing is that they are happy to do it. They fill in the

address, stick a stamp on and mail it for you. No more worrying about

debugging your database or huge bills from the Royal Mail.



Consumers could never be persuaded to pass around the hat to help a

manufacturer pay for a TV commercial, so what makes them so malleable

when it comes to this marketing gambit? For that we can thank the modern

abhorrence for the handwritten word.



The characters of Jane Austen were always ready to dip their pen in the

inkwell and knock out a 20-page letter. But that sort of thing is just

not practical for the likes of today’s pension-fund managing Supermum,

or for that matter any of us who bob along in the wake of modern

life.



We have neither the time nor the copperplate handwriting.



The postcard has therefore filled a precious gap. It allows us to give a

personal touch with a few square inches of quick scrawl and provides a

picture which can communicate a nice set of brand values about the

sender: a Gary Larson cartoon (I’m a crazy guy with a sense of humour);

a cubist painting by Braque (I never talk about it but I am an

intellectual).



The freebie postcards that hang around public places look ingenuous but

they have tapped into the convenience society and allowed the brand

message to penetrate far and wide.



If you find any other medium which is as direct and simple, let me

know.



Answers on a postcard.



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