Writing Creative Direct Mail For Hindustan Lever's Astral Soap
Originality and Interactivity -Keys to Writing Great Brochure Copy in Direct Response Advertising
Originality and interactivity are the keys to writing great brochure copy. This means the idea for the mailing should be original and the pack should carry an involvement device. The idea for this particular direct mail package written for Hindustan Lever's Astral soap revolves around a woman's lifestyle.
The target audience is the type of woman who enjoys reading women's magazines such as Cosmopolitan. Chances are that she enjoys trying out the quizzes that regularly appear in the magazine. She is invited to discover whether she is the Astral Woman via a quiz.
Brochure Headline: Are You the Astral Woman?
Answer the questions for each personality type as honestly as possible. If you have said yes to more than seven questions, your personality corresponds to that type. It might happen that you agree with five out of one type and five of another. In which case, you're influenced by both these personality types.
- You often have prophetic dreams and can sometimes tell when something terrible is about to happen.
- You are religious.
- You firmly believe that the world of the future will be a better place to live in.
- You are not materialistic.
- Your favourite fragrances come from trees, grass, the scent of earth just rained upon.
- You are a social worker or often give to charity.
- You feel best when you are helping people.
- You have fixed ideas about faith that no one can change.
- You paint or write and adore music. Creativity is important to you.
- You like dressing with style.
- When a friend needs you, you go out of your way to comfort her.
- Your children/close friends are very free with you on intimate matters.
- If you're working, you're torn between priorities at work and at home.
- You are quick to forgive and forget.
- The most important thing in your life is your child/close friend.
- You always wanted to have children.
- You take time to accept that your children have grown up and are ready to fall in love.
- You are an excellent cook. Your favourite fragrances are apple pie, freshly baked bread, and the smell of clean, crisp sheets.
- You find home-making a challenge.
- You never let the process of childbirth frighten you.
- You are impulsive.
- You are sensual.
- You spend a lot of time making yourself look good. You like heady, strong scents.
- You like to look good for your man – both in private and in public.
- You are aware of how attractive you are to men and proud of it.
- Your love relationship is very important to you.
- You like parties, clubs, races – in short, you have fun.
- You tend to play down your intellectuality especially when you are with men.
- You feel you can get anything you want from a man.
- You feel most women are jealous of you.
The Astral Woman
- You are a born achiever whether it's a career or a hobby.
- If you want to, you can be a successful career woman and a great mother.
- You never waste time. You always make good use of it.
- You are idealistic, sensual and imaginative.
- You cultivate spiritual values.
- You have your own philosophy that you live by.
- You read a lot, but in a discriminating manner. Knowledge is precious to you.
- You dress with style but never loud. You take good care of your skin, body and hair. You like to smell good all the time.
- You are confident and know exactly what you want and what you're capable of.
- You have a special aura that makes women envy you; heads turn when you walk down the street.
Important Note for the Astral Woman
Whether you're Madonna, Mother or Enchantress, you can still share the Astral Woman's sensational experience. She has a special aura about her which makes heads turn. The secret of her success is feeling good about herself, her body, her looks. She is the kind of woman who indulges herself with the luxurious soap, Astral. Try Astral. Its very special soap, created to make you feel special.
Then send me your opinion and get your personal set of stationery and a chance to win the Grand Palace-on-Wheels Prize. Send me your opinion before 5th March 1990 in a special form I've enclosed for you –Just give us your opinion about Astral and win the Grand Palace-on-Wheels Prize.
Write Original Direct Mail Copy and Involve Your Reader
This example shows copywriters how to get the reader involved by making her do something. In this case it's answering the Astral Woman quiz created expressly for this exercise. Another factor that makes this mailing original is that it is written woman to woman - not written just by any woman from the client's side, but by the Astral Woman herself. It revolves around an original idea inspired by the reader's lifestyle.
How To Write Compelling Copy for the Response Device
The Response Device should be written like a mini-ad. It should lure the reader to act by making the offer irresistible. This was easy to do with the Astral soap mailing for Hindustan Lever because the offer – the most important element in determining response and sales, was fantastic: a free trip through magical Rajasthan on the luxurious Palace-on-Wheels.
The headline on the Response Device: Just give us your opinion about Astral and win a Grand Palace-on-Wheels Prize
In India today, a few royal legacies still linger. The Palace-on-Wheels is one of them: a once in a lifetime journey into enchantment. Winner of the prestigious PATA Gold Award in Osaka in 1987, it has been covered by the National Geographic.
The Palace-on-Wheels is a royal vintage train that takes you through several splendid cities in seven days. The journey begins in Delhi, goes on to Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and the grand finale – the Taj Mahal at Agra before you return to Delhi. You travel by night and sight-see by day in deluxe coaches. You enter the Amber Fort on elephant back; ride atop a stately camel at Jaisalmer and take a leisurely trip by boat on the enchanted lakes of Udaipur. Every detail is arranged in advance for your comfort.
Originally built for the Maharajas, each carriage is decorated with sparkling crystal chandeliers, sumptuous velvets and brocades and each is different from the other. The oldest dates from 1898! Each carriage also has its own kitchenettes, modern bathrooms and well-stocked bar. Liveried attendants treat you with royal hospitality.
The Palace-on-Wheels has two restaurant cars which provide excellent continental and Indian cuisine. And if you'd like to look out at the bewitching Rajasthani countryside, there's an air-conditioned observatory room with a library and a bar.
Imagine experiencing all this and the haunting beauty of a land where palaces of sandstone and marble are as delicately crafted as lace; the vivid colours of the local costumes and turbans; the desert like a rippling golden sea on which the rugged, romantic forts seem like a mirage. And imagine seeing all this like a Maharani would.
The royal vintage train runs in the season between October and March. Thus, giving you enough time to plan an exciting holiday.
Now make this journey of enchantment possible at absolutely no cost to you. Simply do me the favour of filling in the Opinion Form below. Then tear it out and send it to me before 5th March 1990 in the postage paid envelope enclosed.
How to Write Direct Marketing Offer Copy
Notice how the copy brings the experience of a trip on the Palace-on-Wheels to the reader. All her senses are engaged as she reads, and the action she must take in order to win the grand prize is absolutely clear.
Should Direct Mail Seek Feedback?
The fulfillment letter is an important element in a direct mail campaign. It creates an ongoing relationship between the direct marketer and the consumer.
I was inspired to write the fulfillment letter by Rider Haggard's novel She which has as its heroine, a powerful, mysterious and beautiful woman. It just goes to show that copywriters can enrich their minds by reading works of evocative fiction.
This fulfillment letter for Hindustan Lever's Astral soap is signed by the mysterious Astral Woman (as is the cover letter in the campaign) and the aura of romance and wonder continues. All elements in a direct mail campaign must echo each other and an incentive should be offered if feedback is expected. Feedback should always be encouraged as the marketer can then improve on his product and find out how it affects consuners.
The Fulfillment Letter in the Astral Direct Mail Campaign
I had a friend who was the perfect example of the 'Astral Woman.' She had such a wonderful aura about her, that men fell at her feet like autumn leaves. They showered her with gifts and praise.
She was always pleasant and courteous to them, and made it a point to thank each one of her many admirers.
Till today, those friends she made speak of her with warmth. She taught me the value of two simple words: "Thank you."
Thank you for the opinion you sent me on Astral soap. There area lot more people like you who have sent me their opinions. They have really enjoyed the Astral experience. And it's no wonder.
And of course, I've enclosed the exclusive set of personal stationery I promised you in return for your opinion. I'm sure your friends are going to appreciate it too.
At the moment there's a keen contest on for the 'best' opinion. And I'm as eager as you are to know the results.
I promise to let you know the winner of the Grand Palace-on-Wheels Prize as soon as the results are announced.
Thanks again and best wishes
How to Write a Direct Mail Letter to Thank Respondents
Notice how the connection is made between the Astral Woman and the woman who's reading it. It's written in a casual, intimate tone, thanks her for her response and tells her she will receive further information about the winner of the grand prize.
The letter seeks to create a mystical, romantic aura about the Astral Woman, the ideal woman all men admire. In effect, the woman with the Astral type of personality and who uses Astral soap is irresistible to men, but she's also polite and thoughtful. In fact, she has all the traits mentioned in the quiz that goes along with this direct mail campaign.
In addition, as promised, she gets some beautiful stationery (as a reward for sending her opinion) which is designed to reflect the look of the campaign. Everything in the package must remind her of Astral soap.
P.S: This direct mail package got me my first salary raise at Ogilvy & Mather Direct as well as praise from the International Creative Director - Drayton Bird.
© 2014 Anita Saran