In 2009, Griffts, Gibson, and Ramsay Productions (GGRP) started a direct mail campaign to creative directors of big agencies accross the US and Canada, promoting their sound production services. They created a simple campaign based around a buzzworthy idea.
At the center of the innovative campaign was a working cardboard phonograph which could be played with a pencil! How cool is that! With the decline in paper mail, these interesting packages almost always stand out. By creating a simple, relevant tool, all GGRP had to do was sit back and let their innovation work for them.
There is one thing I want readers to take away from this, never underestimate a “dying”medium.
The media has told us too many times that no one mails anything anymore, but in reality…we do. The big players don’t want us to because that means that we’re offline where they can’t track us and it’s more expensive to reach us. Either way, while the rest of us were underestimating the power of the postal system, we left the path wide open for GGRP to take advantage of the uncluttered space. The world needs to take a step back and instead of trying to create the new, innovate the old. After all, the old is still working.
Artists, distributors, labels, and all the other people in the industry are trying to figure out all the new technologies that are popular but almost impossible to make a sizeable return on. My suggestion would be to take a good look at existing platforms that have been left — or are perceived to be — dormant and revitalize them. It’s worth a shot, after all, you won’t find a lot of people trying to do the same. A lot of people may look at it as backtracking, but those couple of steps “back” could put you ahead of the pack.